Bec-Dida Day Artist: David Smith (American, 1906–1965)


Modern and Contemporary Art

On view, 1st floor, Sculpture Garden

Bec-Dida Day was named after the artist's two daughters, Rebecca and Candida, who spent two months every summer with David Smith at his upstate New York studio. According to his daughters, the work was inspired by the shared birthday party he held for them each August. The surreal, anthropomorphic form seems to be caught mid-stride and the sculpture's vibrant palette evokes the childlike joy of such celebrations. Bec-Dida Day can be viewed as an extension of David Smith's Tanktotem series, sculptures that also referenced the human form.




89 × 65 × 18 in., 750 lb. (226.1 × 165.1 × 45.7 cm, 340.2 kg)

Credit Line

Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection

Accession Number



20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Estate of the artist; Charles B. Benenson, to 2006; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
  • Cathleen Chaffee, Eye on a Century: Modern and Contemporary Art from the Charles B. Benenson Collection at the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2012), 86–87, 176, no. 34
  • Carol S. Eliel, David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2011), 47, 49–50, 150, fig. 39
  • Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 284, 408, pl. 271
  • "Acquisitions, July 1, 2006–June 30, 2007," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007), 243, ill
  • Rosalind E. Krauss, The Sculpture of David Smith: A Catalogue Raisonne (New York: Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, 1977), no. 610, ill
  • Art International 1 (October 1965), 48, ill
Object copyright
Additional information


Inscribed: Bec-dida-day


Signed and dated July 12, 1963; also inscribed with the title

Technical metadata and APIs


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