Female Figure, date unknown (1939-1957?)

Direct Carving, presumed to be North Haven granite or greenstone

Female Figure, Date Unknown
Female Figure, Date Unknown

An unidentified small partial figure stood on the window sill in the Tavern Road Studio in front of the stained glass window that Charles Connick made, probably for years. No one noticed that detail in the dark photo until communication was received from a man trying to identify a piece of sculpture. He had photo-shopped the image of the Connick window he found in this website because he thought he saw the sculpture of a figure in front of it. The Head of a Young Girl had sat for years on that windowsill bathed in the golden light from the stained glass according to Elizabeth MacLean Smith in her biography of her teacher. Sharpening and brightening the photo made it clear that there were other unidentified pieces on that windowsill. He hoped that the figure he saw was the same as the one he was trying to identify.

In sharing the photo with Allen family members and former students, three direct carvings were identified, Dog’s Head, Head of a Man (Don Quixote) and Head of a Young Girl. About the figure, the subject of the inquiry, no one had any ideas. Comparing the Allen figure with the sculpture being presented for identification , it was clear that they were not the same. However it brought up questions about Allen’s carving that had been hidden in the photo for so long.

A new sculpture had been discovered! Between the carved figure and the other identified carvings in that grouping, there are two parts of the photo that are unidentified. One is in the lower left between the male Head and the Figure. It looks like a small dog’s head looking up. The other piece is on the right between the Young Girl and the Figure, covering part of both. Perhaps it is an unfinished section of the face of the girl, but the other possibility that presents itself to the eye is that the woman or girl is holding up a peanut-shaped object. Could she be holding a child in that hand, maybe a modern Madonna and Child? The figure is quite modern in its simplicity. The face is flattened, smooth and tender with small features framed by straight shoulder length hair. The body is also flattened with the look of a young girl just beginning to fill out. The right arm is held straight down by her side and the figure is carved down to the level of the upper-mid thigh. The indistinguishable left side is hidden by an object in front of it above and by the shadows below. The carving remains a mystery.

All of these direct carvings on the windowsill are modern with simple clear lines, solid form and minimal detail. Smith mentioned that Allen worked on the Head of a Young Girl gradually refining it over the years, so it may be that the figure was also in process. The family members and students who are still alive have been asked if they remember it. No one does.

Size: Unknown, approximately 15″ H

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