Primeval Prayer, bronze, abt 1914

Primeval Prayer, an F.W.Allen Statuette “is attracting universal attention at the exhibit by the Guild of Boston Artists,” announces the Boston Journal, May 26, 1915. One of four bronzes by Allen shown in nine American cities, Prayer received words of praise from most reviewers, conflicted by the incoming Modern Art shown in the Armory Show the previous year in Boston and New York.

“In keeping his idea big, the sculptor has, by the elimination of needless detail, shown in clay the elemental force that, coupled with man’s indomitable spirit, has made possible our civilization,” writes the critic. Verne Swanson, Director of the Springville Museum of Art in Utah and an authority on the sculpture of this period, commented when handling the bronze, that it would have been very comfortable in the Armory Show. He, too, noticed the power present in the form and the simplification of details that made it modern, while still rooted in the classical tradition of the Boston School.

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