Carved wood, signed G. Granger on base
Height: 24 inches (61 cm)
The Estate of Harry Lowe, the Deputy Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 1982-1984.
French medallist, sculptor, bookplate etcher and ceramicist.
Geneviève Granger and her family left their native Corrèze for Paris after losing their home to fire. She began to show an interest in art at the age of ten, which her parents thought would be short-lived. They had her take a few private lessons, but seeing the talent she developed for drawing and modelling, her father, who had believed she would marry, realised there was nothing he could do to stop his daughter’s artistic ambitions.
Some sources mistakenly made her a pupil of sculptors Jean Boutellier (1851-1916), Jules Mabille (1843-1897) and Antide Marie Péchiné (1855-1929), and of medallist Hubert Ponscarme (1827-1903) at the École des Beaux-Arts, when in fact women were not allowed there at the time. In reality G. Granger studied in the studios of sculptor André Massoulle (1851-1901) and medal engraver Henri Dubois (1859-1943). She made her debut at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1895 by sending a bust of her mother. The piece was the first of a dizzyingly long list of works she sent to its sculpture and medal engraving sections until 1958. Her loyalty to the Salon earned her an honourable mention in 1899 and a third-class medal in 1901.