Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington1876 - 1973
Born: March 10, 1876, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Died: October 4, 1973
The daughter of a professor of paleontology at Harvard University, Anna Hyatt Huntington grew up surrounded by a range of animal life encompassing the entire zoological scale. She studied with sculptors Henry Hudson Kittleson in Boston and Hermon Atkins MacNeil at the Art Students League. She also worked for sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Huntington made frequent trips to the Bronx Zoo where she modeled animals and was especially intrigued by the large cats. Though she created sculptures of other animals in the course of her career, feline subjects appear to have given her the most satisfaction. In conjunction with her husband, Huntington opened America's first public outdoor sculpture garden on their private estate, now called Brookgreen Gardens. In 1940, they opened Stanerigg Farm in Connecticut, raising deer and birds.
Yawning Panther demonstrates the realism of Huntington's art in pose, detail, and style. Rather than showing her subject stalking a prey, she has caught the panther in an intimate moment as it stretches in a wide-mouthed yawn with its front legs tautly extended and its tail elegantly arched. Her skill in the lost-wax method of casting bronze is evident in the texture and wrinkles of the animal's fur. Although the scale of the work is small, the work conveys great strength and graceful movement.
Huntington received numerous awards, including the Chevalier Legion of Honor, the Purple Rosette from the French government, the Shaw Prize and the Watrous Gold Medal from the National Academy of Design, and gold medals from the Pennsylvania Academy and the Allied Artists of America. She was a member of the Associate National Academy, the National Academy of Design, the National Sculpture Society, the American Federation of Arts, National Institute of Arts and Letters, and the National Association of Women Artists. Huntington's work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of New Mexico, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brookgreen Gardens, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.