• Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
  • Flying Sphere - Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd
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Flying Sphere

Robert Tait McKenzie

(Canadian, 1867-1938)

Signed 'R Tait McKenzie'
Dated 1920
Inscribed 'Roman Bronze Works NY'
Bronze with a rich brown patination and reddish brown highlights
Height including base: 21 3/4 inches (55.3 cm)

Conceived and cast 1920


Tait McKenzie spent his life pursuing his three great passions of sport, the arts and medicine. Whilst studying at McGill University in Montreal, he won numerous prizes for his athletic and sporting abilities as well as becoming a lecturer on anatomy at the university. Mckenzie later lectured on Artistic Anatomy at the Montreal Art Association, Harvard University and for the Olympic Lecture Course at the St Louis Exhibition. In 1904, he took up the position of Professor of Physical Education and Physiotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania.

McKenzie was a member of the American Federation of Arts and in 1904 he was awarded a silver medal at the Saint Louis Exposition. In 1912 he was commissioned to create a work for the fifth modern Olympic Games held in Sweden. The piece, entitled Joy of Effort, was incorporated into the Olympic Stadium in Stockholm. Mckenzie received a royal honour from the King of Sweden for his services to athletic art. By 1915 he had been promoted to Major in the RAMC and following the war he developed pioneering new plastic surgery techniques which were used to help disfigured World War veterans.

McKenzie exhibited at the Paris Salon as well as the Royal Academy, and examples of his work can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the National Gallery of Canada, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Flying Sphere depicts an athlete putting the shot. Mckenzie explained that ‘the long lone from the left hand to the right foot… carries the movement uninterrupted across the body in an upward curve of power and exhilaration.’ E. Norman Gardiner, author of Athletics of the Ancient World, argued that this work was Mckenzie’s finest representation of an athlete in action. ‘The composition is superb, the long delicate curve of the body and the short-reversed curve of the open hand beautifully suggesting the curved flight of the shot’. The work was so popular that the complete edition of bronzes was immediately sold when the model was first exhibited.

Works by Robert Tait McKenzie

Download Exhibition Catalogue for Robert Tait McKenzie

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2016 Exhibition Catalogue

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Gilbert Bayes, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Lynn Chadwick, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Alfred Drury, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Pierre Félix Fix-Masseau, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir William Goscombe John, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Adrian Jones, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Fritz Klimsch, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Gerald Laing, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Frederic Lord  Leighton, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Marino Marini, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Robert Tait McKenzie, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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(Canadian, 1867-1938)

Antonin Mercié, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mercié, Antonin

(French, 1845-1916)

Ivan Mestrovic, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Mestrovic, Ivan

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Constantin Meunier, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

Meunier, Constantin

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George Minne, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Henry Moore, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Edward Onslow-Ford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Enzo Plazzotta, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Hiram Powers, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Auguste Rodin, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Eric Stanford, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Alfred Stevens, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Raymond Sudre, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Sir William Hamo Thornycroft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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Albert Toft, Bowman Sculpture Ltd

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