SPECIAL ADVISORY: To safeguard against the spread of COVID-19, the Yale University Art Gallery will remain closed until further notice. Learn More

Modern and Contemporary Art
PrevNext1 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext2 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext3 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext4 of 14
Photo credit: Mark Morosse
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext5 of 14
Photo credit: Mark Morosse
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext6 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext7 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext8 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext9 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext10 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext11 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext12 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext13 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
PrevNext14 of 14
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Artist: David Smith, American, 1906–1965

Bec-Dida Day

1963

Steel

226.061 × 165.1 × 45.72 cm, 340.2 kg (89 × 65 × 18 in., 750 lb.)
Charles B. Benenson, B.A. 1933, Collection
2006.52.68
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.
Status: 
On view*
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Sculpture
Provenance: 

Estate of the artist; Charles B. Benenson, to 2006; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

Art International 1 (October 1965): 48, ill.

Rosalind E. Krauss, The Sculpture of David Smith: A Catalogue Raisonne (New York: Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, 1977), no. 610, ill.

“Acquisitions, July 1, 2006–June 30, 2007,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2007): 243, ill.

Art for Yale: Collecting for a New Century, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2007), 284, 408, pl. 271.

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.

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.

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 such records is ongoing.