Frog Baby Fountain, 1901
Bronze, dark brown patina
12 1/8 H. x 8 W. x 5 3/4 D. inches
Signed at rear vertical edge of self bronze base: JANET SCUDDER © GORHAM CO.FOUNDERS/ QUI/ tribox
Janet Scudder’s career owes a debt of gratitude to the jubilant “Frog Baby” fountain in establishing her as a garden sculptor. The first casting was produced in Paris, which Scudder brought back to New York in hopes that it would help her secure patrons. Through a fortuitous meeting with renowned architect Stanford White, she sold him the sculpture for his Long Island estate. He was so thrilled with the purchase that he recommended her to a number of clients, establishing a fruitful working relationship between the two that led to Scudder’s recognition as a fountain and garden sculptor. She dedicated an entire chapter to this work in her autobiography, describing that inspiration for the sculpture occurred when a young boy wandered into her studio: “In that moment, a finished work flashed before me. I saw a little boy dancing, laughing, chuckling all to himself while a spray of water dashed over him. The idea of my Frog Fountain was born.” She enjoyed depicting children because of the vibrancy with which they carry out each movement, adding a dynamic aspect of youthfulness to her work.