Ethnic Man, a favorite sculpture in the UMFA’s collection, stands 12 feet tall and keeps an eye on the happenings at the Museum from the balcony overlooking the Great Hall. This massive sculpture was created by Viola Frey (1933 – 2004), a ceramic artist who looked beyond the traditional small scale of the artform. Frey’s sculptures, which can be found at museums throughout the U.S., are monumental in height and often weigh thousands of pounds.
Frey’s signature (her handprint) can be found on Ethnic Man’s foot. Be sure to look for it the next time you visit. Ethnic Man stands ever alert, and waiting for your visit.
Credit line: Viola Frey, American, Ethnic Man, 1991, glazed porcelain, 122″x45″x24″, purchased with funds from the Phyllis Cannon Wattis Endowment for the Acquisition of Twentieth Century Art, Museum #2000.11.1A-O.