Frederick Warren Allen

AMERICAN SCULPTOR, BOSTON SCHOOL

Head of a Little Girl, date unknown

Made from a granite North Haven beach stone, the whole “pebble” can be clearly seen here with the water-darkened exterior showing from the base of the neck to the top of the head and along the front at the bridge of the nose. A few lines are cut back above the girl’s forehead to indicate the direction of the thick straight hair, which has been undercut sharply at the sides of the cheek like the old blunt-cut bowl haircuts for children. The thickness of the dark hair is indicated by the side cuts into the stone along the sides of the face, creating a color contrast between the brown hair and the paler flesh of the skin. The cut portion, untouched by the elements is dramatically lighter than the exterior shell. She is petite. She emerges from the core of the egg-shaped stone as if having been just awakened. The face is triangular with a narrow jaw, pointed chin and smallmouth. The eyes are flattened in their shallow sockets and become the focus at the wide point of the head. Allen carved away a notch around the entire stone at the level of the neck, a risky move, which resulted in an accident that split the neck cleanly across along the crystalline structure at the narrowest point under her chin, separating the face and head from the neck and its thicker base. The features are simplified in a manner that approaches modern abstract sculpture. She is mounted simply on a larger block of natural unfinished wood, an effect that adds to the modernity of the little carving.

Alt: Female head (bowl-cut hair)
Approx. 6” high without base
Location: North Haven, Private collection

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