[Judaica] BASHKA PAEFF (August 12, 1889 – January 24, 1979) was born into a Jewish family in Minsk Russia Empire. Her family immigrated to the United States when she was a year old.
She was an American sculptor active near Boston. She was best known as the Subway Sculptor for the pieces she modeled at the Park Street T station while working her way through art school at the Boston Museum School. Today, she is best known for the Maine Sailors and School Memorial on Route 1 crossing from Portsmouth, NH, into Kittery, Maine.
Other notable pieces by Paeff include a statue of Warren G. Harding’s pet Airedale at the Smithsonian Institution, a bas relief of Ellen Swallow Richards at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a relief depicting the Battle of Lexington near Buckman Tavern in Lexington, MA.
Offering a nicely inscribed photograph of her sculpture of Professor James Geddes to her sister Blanche, whom she describes as her “rare guard.” She thanks her for her “guardianship and devotion of sister Bashka Paett – Xmas Cheer – 1938.” On the verso, she writes “Professor James Geddes, Head of the Dept. of Romance Languages Boston University from 1887 to 1937, Bashka Paeff Sculptor.” The verso also carries her stamp from Carnegie Hall, NY.”
Geddes was a renowned scholar, teaching four languages, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese as well as phonetics. Geddes studied at Harvard and was a classmate of Theodore Roosevelt.
Light soiling mostly in the border. Some wear to the inscription. Else very good and a wonderful photograph of her Geddes’ sculpture.
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