Public Art at Williams
La Gargouillade, 1956-60
Bernard Reder (American, 1897-1963)
Bequest of Lawrence H. Bloedel, Class of 1923
Photo by Megan Cross
La Gargouillade derives from the French verb that means “to gurgle” or ” to bubble” and is used to refer both to rainspouts and to an intricate balletic maneuver. Both definitions resonate with Reder’s complex bronze construction.
Reder, the son of an Austrian-Jewish innkeeper, took stories from Jewish folklore, Greek Mythology, and the Bible as his inspiration. Fleeing Austria to avoid anti-Semitism, he lived in Prague, Paris, Spain, Cuba, and New York during the war years. He subsequently studied in Rome and Florence, perfecting the lost-wax technique of creating bronzes. His works are in many public and private collections. In 1948 he became an American citizen.
La Gargouillade was part of a large bequest of art from alumnus and prominent collector Lawrence Bloedel. Along with several other works from Bloedel’s collection, the sculpture is located outside of the main campus at Field Farm.