...purchased (from the artist?) by the Women's Department Club in 1928. It was donated to the IMA by the club in 1984
This nude figure of a child surrounded by a base of frogs was inspired by children Scudder observed in Italy.
Scudder was one of the premier artists of garden sculpture of her era.
Frog Fountain is Scudder's best-known work.
Determined to be an artist, Scudder left Terre Haute, Indiana in her teens to study at the Academy of Art in Cincinnati. By age 20 she was one of Lorado Taft’s “white rabbits,” the female assistants who aided him in his many sculpture projects for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. In 1894 she sought training in France, where she eventually established her home and studio. Active beyond her work as a sculptor, Scudder participated in the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, wrote an autobiography entitled Modelling My Life, and was honored by France as a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. Scudder came back to the United States nearly every year to seek fountain projects from landscape architects. During the early 20th century a wide-spread American demand for garden sculpture provided Scudder with many commissions, earning her the title “Woman of the Fountains.”
As a young artist in France, Scudder persuaded the successful American sculptor Frederick MacMonnies to break his rule against taking students. Scudder incorporated MacMonnies lively naturalistic modeling into Frog Fountain. She said that this bronze was inspired by children she observed in Italy, a country renowned for its fountain sculpture. The chubby little boy, his hair garlanded with flowers, dances between three nervous frogs. Frog Fountain is Scudder’s best known work, and this bronze is one of many replicas.
Judith Vale Newton and Carol Ann Weiss. Skirting the Issue: Stories of Indiana’s Historical Women Artists, Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0871951779
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