White Slave
Abastenia St. Eberle
White Slave

Gallery A
American Sculpture and Decorative Art

Another artist who translated Ashcan principles into sculpture was Abastenia St. Eberle. Eberle was so taken with immigrant life on Manhattan's Lower East Side that in 1914 she set up two rooms, one for a studio, the other for a recreational area for the tenement children. Her rooms took on the character of a settlement house, the most famous of which was Jane Addams' Hull House in Chicago.

Eberle's White Slave (left) drew an investigation during the Armory Show by a Chicago censure committee for its open portrayal of the sex industry. At the time of the Armory Show, there were a number of American organizations set up to eradicate prostitution: the National Vigilance Committee, the American Purity Federation, and the Alliance for the Suppression and Prevention of the White Slave Traffic, among others (Casteras 33). However, some felt Eberle's model was "too realistic a portrayal of greed and lust; the seamy side of life was still deemed inappropriate for sculpture." (Fort 78) Eberle, unlike many Ashcan painters, did not study with Robert Henri but with Kenyon Cox, one of strongest opponents to many of the works shown at the Armory Show.


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