Diana of the Chase, ca. 1922;
Diana of the Chase, 1922
By Zoe Flood Tardino
Anna Hyatt Huntington’s Diana of the Chase was first modeled in 1922 and has since been cast many times. Two casts belong to New York City collections, others to institutions across the country and around the world, where they have become so popular they can be called icons.
This cast, which belongs to the New-York Historical Society, was donated by Anna Hyatt and Archer Milton Huntington in 1939. It was displayed outside, as it was intended to be. By 2008, the cast was badly in need of conservation. It was then beautifully restored. The other cast of the Diana in a New York collection, at the National Academy of Design, has very recently been restored as well. A cast of the Diana has been associated with the National Academy of Design since the sculpture’s design in 1922, but not always the same cast.
A first cast of the Diana was displayed in a group exhibition held in 1922 at the National Academy of Design, then located at West 57th Street. There it won a Saltus Medal for Merit. This cast was then moved into the dining room of the home at 1083 Fifth Avenue which had been Archer Milton Huntington’s since 1902 and which became Anna Hyatt Huntington’s Manhattan home when she married Archer in 1923. The couple gave the building of this home to the National Academy of Design in 1939. The first Diana cast was given to Brookgreen Gardens. The outdoor sculpture park, one of the earliest and most important of its kind, was established, designed, founded and donated to the state of South Carolina during the 1930s by Anna Hyatt and Archer Milton Huntington.
At the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland, a Diana is called the institution’s “logo. ” and “an iconic image of the Museum.” Anna Hyatt Huntington gifted the museum a copy of the sculpture in 1941 to honor its ten-year anniversary. The Washington County Museum Diana is housed in a prominently positioned rotunda, planned when the museum was designed to house a single striking sculpture. Originally open, the rotunda has been enclosed since 1998, with the Diana inside.
At Syracuse University, where Anna Hyatt Huntington’s papers belong, a cast of her Diana has become a good luck charm. Before exams, students rub the paw of the deerhound intertwined with Diana’s feet. Harvard University’s cast of the Diana was also beloved by students, almost too much so. In 1958, vandals seriously damaged the sculpture. Anna Hyatt Huntington, who only a few years before had paid to have its surface restored, offered to have the Diana repaired by Roman Bronze Works. This cast has been displayed at the Huntington Library, Art Gallery, and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, California since 1986. The Diana stands in a rotunda at the entrance to the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art.
Other casts of the Diana belong to the collections of: the University of Texas at Austin; Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; Audubon Park in New Orleans, Louisiana, the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Havana, Cuba; the Jardin des Lices in Blois; France; the Jardin Fuente de Diana in Madrid, Spain; and Ueno Park in Tokyo, Japan.