“This is the piece by which I would like to be remembered.”
Carved in gray North Haven granite from the island he loved, the mature artist, Frederick Warren Allen had finally found his best expression. Solid and heavy like the stone, possessing strength at it’s core and emotional power in it’s expression, stripped of excess, pared down to the elements of sculptural design as he taught it at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, refined in it’s details, simple, balanced, elegant, finally perfect in his eyes.
Here are the words of his student and his assistant, Elizabeth MacLean Smith, “Look again, see it from all sides and in many lights. There is a peace and a strength in the face. Those eyes are far-seeing, and yet there is tension in the jaw line, a vibrancy and yet a steadiness. Every viewing of it arrests the observer with a sense of new discovery. This is a conception of man universal; it is a man representing all men.”
“And we who knew him best feel very strongly that, unconsciously, he put much of himself into his enduring concept. It might well be entitled “Creative Man.”
Described in American Figurative Sculpture by Greenthal as “massive and impressive,” Egyptian Head was on display in the 1939 Worlds Fair, praised as one of the twelve best sculptures exhibited. It is now owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in our nation’s capitol, Washington, DC.