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Mother and Child

Isabel Case Borgatta

American (1921-2017)

Mother and Child (1945)


Gift of Mia, Paola, and Francesca Borgatta, 2019.5

After scanning dial 38#

Learn about the process of laminating and gluing pieces of wood together to create a block for carving.


This sculpture’s surface bears the marks of Borgatta’s tools, the mallet and chisel she used to carve directly into a block of wood. The artist was a proponent of direct carving, an approach to making sculpture which rejects academic traditions where sculptors first model a design in clay or wax, and then work with technicians to transfer the concept to marble or bronze. Instead of relying on a preliminary model, artists like Borgatta adapt their design to the carving process, which suggests the sculpture’s final form.  
Though Borgatta preferred to carve stone, she also worked in wood, especially during the years she raised her three daughters, who donated this sculpture to the museum.

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