David Smith

Running Daughter

Not on view



Painted steel

Overall: 100 1/2 × 34 × 20 1/4in., 145lb. (255.3 × 86.4 × 51.4 cm, 65.8kg)

Accession number

Credit line
50th Anniversary Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Kolin

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


  • America Is Hard to See

    David Smith, Running Daughter, 1956

    David Smith, Running Daughter, 1956


    Narrator: Candida Smith, the youngest daughter of artist David Smith, describes this welded iron sculpture that her father made over the course of several years, between 1956 and 1960:

    Candida Smith: Running Daughter, as the name suggests, comes from his experience of watching his daughters run. It relates to a group of photographs, mostly, actually of my sister Rebecca running. But it indicates “daughter” in a larger sense. Obviously, this is not a toddling child, but an adult, with a sense of motion, but a motion that’s released, uninhibited, in the way that a child moves, but [on] the scale of an adult. The weight in the belly shape is a more adult shape.

    Narrator: In a single work, David Smith alluded to different stages of life, and multiple moments in time.

    Candida Smith: And I think all of those moments are integrated into this sculpture, as well as his love of motion. Motion that’s released, that’s free, that’s casual. He was fascinated by the marks that birds left on the snow in the morning when he got up. The marks of motions. . .what is past. . .watching the path of clouds in the sky. And this informed many, many of his sculptures. You’ll see in many, the same kind of running legs, the one leg extended in the rear.

    It teaches me actually something about. . .that I feel as a parent, which is that sense of watching a child in all stages of their life, at one moment, in a way that you don’t really watch, you can’t really see other people’s children in the same way. All that they contain, all that they could be, all the possibilities. And motion is inherent in that process of metamorphosis through life.. 

David Smith
26 works

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