Duane Hanson

Woman with Dog
1977

Not on view

Date
1977

Classification
Sculpture

Medium
Acrylic and oil on cast polyvinyl with clothing, hair, eyeglasses, watch, shoes, upholstered wood chair, dog hair, leather collar, woven rug, postcard, letters, and envelopes

Dimensions
Overall: 46 1/8 × 50 1/2 × 48in. (117.2 × 128.3 × 121.9 cm)

Accession number
78.6a-f

Credit line
Purchase, with funds from Frances and Sydney Lewis

Rights and reproductions
© Estate of Duane Hanson / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Like most of Duane Hanson’s sculptures, Woman with Dog projects an uncanny verisimilitude. Hanson often worked on a single figure for up to one year—locating models, making polyvinyl casts directly from their bodies (a method he developed in 1967), assembling and painting the casts, and finally outfitting the sculptures with clothing and accessories. Despite their extreme realism, however, Hanson’s sculptures are not usually likenesses of specific people. The pile of letters in Woman with Dog, for example, is addressed to a Minnie Johnson, but the model for the work was someone else who lived near Hanson’s Florida studio. Woman with Dog thus presents a constructed, even composite character. As Hanson remarked, "I wanted a credible, unpretentious working class type of woman at mail time enjoying the fellowship of a friendly letter and her pet dog."    



Audio

  • Human Interest, Kids

    Duane Hanson, Woman with Dog, 1977

    Duane Hanson, Woman with Dog, 1977

    0:00

    Narrator: What did you think when you first saw this sculpture? If you’re anything like me, you were wondering what some older woman in her house dress was doing in the middle of a museum. Is this really the kind of place you’d usually hang out with your dog and read a letter? For thousands of years, sculpture has pictured really important people—kings and queens, gods and goddesses. We’re so used to that, seeing a sculpture like this one kind of makes you say “wait, what??” It’s so ordinary, that it’s kind of weird! The artist, Duane Hanson, wanted us to have this experience—to make us see things in a whole new way. And no, that’s not a real stuffed dog. Its body is ceramic. But it does have real dog hair, from the artist’s cousin’s poodle! 



Duane Hanson
1 work

View artist

Images and Permissions

Sunrise

Sunset

A 30-second online art project:
Kristin Lucas, Speculative Habitat for Sponsored Seabirds

Learn more