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Ethnography, Native Americans, Indian Brave, Plaster Bust, by Olympio Brindesi, c. 1920


Olympio Brindesi (1897-1965)
Indian Brave
American: 1920
Plaster with terra cotta slip
Signed and dated on back: Olympio Brindesi, May 28, 1920, N.Y.
18 x 16.5 x 9.25 inches

Also available for prop rental.  Please inquire as to rates, mentioning the name of this item in the email.

Portrait bust of a middle-aged Native American man from the shoulders up, head turned and expression alert, as if gazing at something in the distance. His hair falls on his shoulders in two braids. The texture of the sculpture, including tool marks, indicates that the original model was probably made in clay, from which a mold was made and the sculpture was cast.  This offered example is cast in plaster and covered with a terra cotta slip, though he also had castings done in bronze. This is an early work by Abruzzi, made when he was 23 years old, and demonstrates that he already showed a gift for handling the medium and sensitively capturing facial expressions.

Olympio Brindesi was an Italian-American sculptor based in New York, known for his figurative sculpture of people and animals. Born in Abruzzi, Italy, he came to New York and studied at the Art Students League, the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, and with the sculptors Chester Beach and A.P. Proctor. Brindesi was a member of the Architectural League of New York, winning its Avery Prize in 1927, the American Federation of Arts, and the National Sculpture Society. He also exhibited his work at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hispanic Society, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair. He also held teaching positions between 1924 and 1931 at Cornell University, St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., and Cooper Union.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, handling, wear.



Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1985. p. 78.

Gilbert, Dorothy B., ed. Who’s Who in American Art. New York: American Federation of Arts and R.R. Bowker, 1959. p. 72.