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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.

Dropped Bra (Big Maquette)

Artist: Tom Wesselmann (1931 - 2004)
Date: ca. 1978-1980
28 × 58 × 22 in. (71.1 × 147.3 × 55.9 cm)
Medium: Enamel on aluminum
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, Gift of John Wilmerding, 2016.16
stamp: work executed by / Lippincott / North Haven Conn
after estate signature, stamp: WESSELMANN No. 3

Signed: on base of the reverse, in black: The Estate of Tom Wesselmann, Claire Wesselmann [script], executor
On View
Accession Number: 2016.16
ProvenanceEstate of the Artist, 2004; (Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, NY); Private Collection, NY; (Phillips, New York, NY), November 10, 2015, lot 249; purchased by John Wilmerding, New York, NY, 2015; given to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2016
Label TextThroughout his career, Tom Wesselmann looked to everday life and ordinary objects for inspiration. Because of this, he was often grouped with Pop artists like Andy Warhol. Wesselmann always rejected this label, feeling that his work never aligned with that of his contemporaries because he was not directly commenting on consumerism. Wesselmann first gained notoriety for his Great American Nudes series, a hundred paintings of nude women coinciding with the sexual awakening of 1960s America. The following decade he continued to create related work, but shifted away from the sexualized female figure towards their accessories, as is the case with Dropped Bra. One of five “big maquettes,” this aluminum sculpture was a test for creating a larger version of the same subject. By focusing on a modern article of clothing, Wesselmann updates the traditional still life for a contemporary audience.