Mother at Prayer

Here’s a photograph from the March 7 1928 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a sculpture being presented to the Art Gallery of Toronto.

Ivan Meštrović (1883-1962) was actually Croatian, not Serbian. He was, however, appreciative of Serbian culture and thought of himself as Yugoslavian. He had his first international exhibit in 1905 and his work became widely known around the world.

During the Second World War, the Ustaše imprisoned him for three months to keep him from emigrating, but he was eventually allowed to leave Croatia, moving to Switzerland. After the war, he refused to return to Yugoslavia – his brother Petar was imprisoned for advising him not to do so – and he moved to the United States in 1947. In 1954, President Eisenhower presided over the ceremony that granted him American citizenship.

Mrs. Timothy Eaton had been a widow for over two decades when she presented this sculpture to the Art Gallery of Toronto, as her husband had passed away in 1907. The Art Gallery of Toronto was renamed the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1966.

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