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Wept of the Wish-Ton-Wish

American Art

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Wept of the Wish-Ton-Wish

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Joseph Mozier
American, 1812–1870

Date

1865

Medium

Marble

Accession #

2010.77

Dimensions

52 x 18 x 18 inches

Location

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 307

Description

Joseph Mozier portrays Ruth, the main character in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish. It details the saga of a white woman who had been abducted as a child and raised by Narragansett Indians. Mozier dramatizes the moment when Ruth, now Narra-mattah, is transfixed by the sound of her birth mother’s voice. With this ambiguous, sentimental subject, Cooper and Mozier capitalized on the apprehensions and fascination of many Euro-Americans in the imagined intersections between Native and Western cultures.

Credit

Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel and Michael E. Shapiro