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Robert Arneson (United States, 1930–1992)

Self-Portrait of the Artist Losing His Marbles
Date: 1965
31 x 17 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (78.7 x 44.5 x 24.1 cm)
Medium: Earthenware, luster glaze, marbles, pigments; hand-built
Credit Line: Museum of Arts and Design, New York; gift of the Johnson Wax Company, through the American Craft Council, 1977
Object number: 1977.2.4
Not on View
DescriptionThree-dimensional portrait bust showing the head, partial shoulders, and chest of the artist. The head, with thick hair slicked back and a bushy moustache, has two missing eyes, one with the socket open and empty and the other with the socket nearly empty except for a small pinhole. The figure wears a collared shirt with the top open to expose the collar bone and chest. The bust's surface is pitted and rough and includes a large crack gaping from the chin down to the bottom of the bust. From the fractured spilt, approximately one dozen marbles spill out to the base. The bust stands on a round, fluted base. A shiny, luster glaze in shades of oxidized bronze and silver covers the surface of the piece.