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Henri Hébert

Flapper

Artist

Henri Hébert
Montreal 1884 – Montreal 1950

Title

Flapper

Date

1927

Materials

Bronze

Dimensions

50 x 20.5 x 12.3 cm

Credits

Gift of Jean-Marie Saint-Georges, inv. 2018.421

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Appearing just after the end of World War I, the word “flapper” described the boyish-looking woman of the 1920s, with her short skirts and dresses, shingled or bobbed hair, and free-and-easy mores (indulging in smoking, drinking and libertinism). Belonging to the first generation of emancipated women, American actress Louise Brooks and singer Josephine Baker became the leading lights of the phenomenon. In 1927, Hébert created two resolutely modern nudes—Charleston and Flapper—which contrasted with the academic nudes he had executed up until that time. The critical reception of those nudes, which the sculptor Emmanuel Hahn described as being “works that are unique in Canadian sculpture,” reflects the uneasiness avant-garde depictions of women provoked. Cécile Perron, a friend of Henri Hébert and the architect Ernest Cormier, claimed she had served as the model for those sculptures.

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