Family & Neighbors

Cyrus Dallin married Vittoria Colonna Murray in 1891. They started their family in 1893, and moved to Arlington, Massachusetts in 1900, where they raised their three sons.

Dallin and his family were active citizens in Arlington for the forty-four years he lived and worked in the town. He appeared in the pageants Vittoria organized, was a friendly neighbor, and was supportive to his own and neighborhood children. A member of the town planning board, Dallin was also a trustee of the Robbins Library and Symmes Hospital, and he ran for the Massachusetts Legislature.

The sculptures showcased in the Dallin Family and Friends collection reveal the artist’s devotion to family and his appreciation of the people around him.  Among Dallin’s works in this collection are a Nobel Prize winner, a leading literary figure, portraits of children, and even a pet cat and dog.

 

Mother and Child

Mother and Child

Plaster, 1894
Gift of Mrs. Bertram Dallin

Dallin imbued this everyday scene, a portrait of his wife and their first son, Bertram, with a sense of sanctity that connects a universal theme to its personal content. The composition of figures under an arch and the lilies and angels suggest it was inspired by two of Luca della Robbia’s ceramic Madonnas in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

 

John Trowbridge

John Townsend Trowbridge

Bronze, 1906
Gift of Lawrence Dallin

During his lifetime, Arlington resident John Townsend Trowbridge (1827-1916) was a well known author and poet, a founding contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, and one of the best known writers of juvenile fiction in the 19th century.  He is the author of Tide-Mill Stories, which takes place on Arlington’s Mystic Lakes.  His anti-slavery novel, Neighbor Jackman, helped arouse abolitionist sentiment.  Trowbridge’s friends included Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Twain, and Harriet Beecher Stowe as well as the Dallins.

 

Crombie

Plaster, 1936
Gift of Crombie Dallin

Dallin liked and respected children. His keenly observed portraits, like this one of his grandson, Crombie, continued to resemble their subjects well into old age. Portraiture was a natural medium for Dallin, whose youthful sculptures of co-workers first revealed his talents. Early in his career he supported himself by making plaster busts for the Jordan Marsh Department Store in Boston.