FREDRICK WILLIAM MACMONNIES (Brooklyn, NY, 1863 - New York, NY, 1937)
Susie Pratt Kennedy
Cast bronze with golden brown patina
Diameter: 3 ¾ inches (96 mm)
Legend: SUSIE PRATT KENNEDY AD MDCCCXCV OCTOBER XXX / TO MY FRIEND ELIJAH ROBINSON / KENNEDY ESQR I;
In the field to the right: MADE IN PARIS BY FREDERICK MACMONNIES 1895
Born in Brooklyn, New York, on 28 February 1880, Susan Pratt Kennedy was the daughter of Elijah Robinson Kennedy (May 6, 1844-April 25, 1926), to whom Frederick MacMonnies dedicated this medal. A friend and patron of MacMonnies, Elijah was involved in a number of commissions from the sculptor, both in his capacity as Park Commissioner of Brooklyn and as a private citizen.
A large bronze version of this portrait, three and one-half feet in diameter, was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1896. Kennedy explained the circumstances of its commission in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper of 3 May 1896:
“I gave the commission to the sculptor when in Paris with my daughter last summer. I wanted an equestrian portrait, for she is as much at home on a horse as she is in a rocking chair in her own parlor, as she has been riding since she was 7 years of age. In Paris a pony was procured as nearly like the one she rides at the Brooklyn Riding and Driving club as possible, and she wore when she posed a Brooklyn riding habit and a Brooklyn hat.”
Two electroplate versions of the medal are the collection of the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and a galvano-silvered version was exhibited at the International Exhibition of Contemporary Medals at the American Numismatic Society in 1910.
The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 5 May 1896, p. 4, illus.
Roger Marx, Les Médailleurs modernes à l’Exposition Universelle de 1900, Paris, 1901, p. 29
L. Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of Medallists, vol. III, London, 1907, p. 525; vol. VIII, London, 1930, p. 15
Catalogue of the International Medallic Exhibition of the American Numismatic Society, New York, 1910, n. p., and rev. ed., New York, 1911, p. 200, n. 2
Frederick William MacMonnies & Mary Fairchild-MacMonnies, deux artistes américains à Giverny (exh. cat., Musée municipal A.-G. Poulain, Vernon, 18 June-11 September 1988), Vernon, 1988, pp. 40, 106
Mary Smart and Adina Gordon, A Flight with Fame: The Life and Art of Frederick MacMonnies (1863-1937), Madison, CT, 1996, pp. 155, 294