Day Schnabel, Male head, wood, circa 1930/ 1940

2 600


What I like

I like this bust because it is a direct carving in exotic wood, probably in mahogany: it is therefore unique. Its stylization is accompanied by a veracity of the modeling, which makes it a typical work of the 1930s/ 1940s, imbued with a certain melancholy. I like the story of the sculptress, who came from the melting pot that is Vienna, chased to France and then to the United States. It is proof of the resilience of artists when they were lucky enough not to succumb to Nazi barbarism. This bust also shows the importance of women sculptors, often understated for the 1930s. The history of art is beginning to take an interest in these women, who nevertheless exhibited from the 1930s/1940s. I like the stylization of this head, treated by wide shots, chasing the anecdotal to retain only the essential of the volumes: this young man has a very sympathetic head: what was his destiny? We begin to speculate about his future: he becomes a friend, or a distant but beloved uncle.

Technical description

Doris Day SCHNABEL (1905-1991)

Male head

Wooden sculpture monogrammed D on the reverse, on its base of the same wood.

Circa 1930-1940.

Workshop sale paper label.

Dimensions and weight

Height:  45 cm – Width: 20 cm – Depth: 20 cm

Height: 17,71’’- Width: 7,87’’- Depth: 7,87’’

Weight: 8,2 kg- 18,07 pounds

Mix & Match

As always when it comes to a work of art, it is self-sufficient: it can adapt to all neighborhoods because the beauty of its lines, the warmth of its wood work independently. Of course, the Art Deco furniture will serve as an admirable setting, because it is from the same period of creation. But a 1950s universe with wooden furniture by Jeanneret or Charlotte Perriand will also be suitable, with the warmth of the different types of wood. But I can quite clearly see this sculpture in a more minimalist universe, in chrome, black leather or steel: why not put it on the desk of the Banque de France, in walnut and chrome, in front of this pair of armchairs by Sonja Wasseur or the lounge set by Sven Ilvar Dysthe? The purity of these three pieces of furniture will give full place to our bust, with its soft color and perfectly clean lines.

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To know more

The sculptor

Day Thalberg, known as Day Schnabel, born in Vienna in 1905 and died in 1991, was a naturalized American painter and sculptor. After training in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Day Schnabel moved to Paris in 1935. She was a pupil of Gimond, Malfray, Aristide Maillol then Zadkine. In 1939, she exhibited at the Salon des Tuileries. The occupation of France during the Second World War pushes it towards the United States. She moved to New York and exhibited there regularly from 1942. After the war, she renewed regular links with the Parisian artistic community, participated in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in 1948, exhibited in the young gallery of Denise René, and regularly at the Salon de Mai from 1950.

In 1951 she exhibited as part of the 9th Street Art Exhibition in New York, she was part, in the 1950s, of the group of artists known as the New York School. In the 1960s, Day Schnabel also participated in collective exhibitions of American artists, presented by the Smithsonian Institute (1961) or the American Artist Center (1963) to the Parisian public.

Works in museums:

“Tower, 1949”, Museum of Fine Arts of Saint Etienne

“Relief detached from its foundation, 1951”, Nantes Museum of Fine Arts

“The City, four pieces, 1953, Brooklyn Museum

“The Oyster, 1964”, Nantes Museum of Fine Arts

The editor

This head is a direct carving, as such a unique piece, carved by Day Schnabel.

A beautiful authentic sculpture at a fair price

This statue has been carefully selected for its aesthetic qualities, its originality and its fair price. Our choice favors above all the acuity of the design, the beauty of the inspiration and the carving technique by Day Schnabel, an artist who deserves recognition, guarantee of a valorization of your new acquisition in your interior and of an ability to dialogue with your furniture, to agree and to mix to create a unique decoration.

Buying a work of art is an investment that we hope will last: the history of art is beginning to recognize the return to order movement of the interwar period.

Additional information
Weight 8 kg
Dimensions 20 × 20 × 45 cm



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Dominique de Paillerets is passionate about objects and art. He likes to combine Design furniture from the 70s and the 18th century, in the spirit Combining refinement and the spirit of the seventies

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