Bird in Space

The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Background History:

Constantine Brancusi both commissioned and created the seven versions of "Bird in Space". Each was unique in their own small ways, and between the first and last piece, took over twelve years to complete. They remained mainly created from either bronze cast or were solid marble, and were displayed as the true "essence" of a bird in flight.

Artist's Statement:

Quote from Brancusi when his Bird in Space was believed not to be art in the court house and taxed by U.S. Customs:

"I conceived it to be created in bronze and I made a plaster model of it. This I gave to the founder, together with the formula for the bronze alloy and other necessary indications. When the roughcast was delivered to me, I had to stop up the air holes and the core hole, to correct the various defects, and to polish the bronze with files and very fine emery. All this I did myself, by hand; this artistic finishing takes a very long time and is equivalent to beginning the whole work over again. I did not allow anybody else to do any of this finishing work, as the subject of the bronze was my own special creation and nobody but myself could have carried it out to my satisfaction."

More information can be found at

Brancusi aimed to portray his most famous theme when it came to his sculptures -the true essence of things- when he created Bird in Space. Many of his other works also portray this style as well, such as Prometheus, The Newborn, and Sleeping Muse.

My Opinion:

Personally, i originally thought of this as very simplistic, but once i did research and read the description of the piece, Bird in Space began to make more sense to me. Brancusi's art truly does seem to contain the essence of something's "true" form after time and examination. Art does not have to be complex. In fact, it is the simplest things that seem to say the most to us.