Edward Berge

(Last Updated On August 1, 2023)

Edward Henry Berge was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1876. He studied art first in Maryland then went to Paris and studied under Auguste Rodin. He returned to Baltimore and lived there until his death in 1924. Berge sculpted in both marble and bronze.

Edward Berge – Sea Urchin – (1921) (1)

Edward Berge – Sea Urchin – (1921) (2)

Edward Berge – Sea Urchin – (1921) (3)

Sea Urchin is a four-foot-tall statue of a girl standing on a sea urchin. It was sculpted in 1921 for a public fountain in Baltimore. Smaller editions were made, as shown in the second and third illustrations. In 1961 the Sea Urchin was replaced by a copy sculpted by Berge’s son, and the original was moved to Johns Hopkins University. Edward Berge had two sons who were also artists, and Edward’s father was a German gravestone carver.

Edward Berge – Wild Flower (1909) (1)

Edward Berge – Wild Flower (1909) (2)

Some of Berge’s finest work are his fountain statues of nude girls. Wildflower is one of his more famous. Originally cast life-size in 1909, subsequent editions were cast in 1916 and 1923. Professor Moses Slaughter purchased Wildflower in 1917 and donated it to the Madison Wisconsin Public Library in memory of his two daughters. Wildflower was placed in a pool fountain outside the library building. In the 1960s, the library was moved to a new location. Wildflower was moved to an indoor location on the second floor of the new library, and in 2015 it was moved again to the children’s room of the new library. Another copy of Wildflower is in Homeland Garden, Baltimore.

Edward Berge – Violet (c1916) (1)

Edward Berge – Violet (c1916) (2)

Violet is another sculpture that is similar to Wildflower. Three violets are in the girl’s hair. Violet was intended as a fountain, with water flowing from the girl’s hands.

Edward Berge – At Water’s Edge (1914)

At Water’s Edge differs from the other statues in this article in that it features a sitting girl. The serene expression on her face, however, is like the others.

Edward Berge – Poppy (1922) (1)

Edward Berge – Poppy (1922) (2)

Poppy represents a tiny wood nymph with a poppy on her head. Nymph on a Turtle (aka Will-o’-the-Wisp) is a water nymph on a turtle. This statue was featured in a previous article here.

Edward Berge – Nymph on a Turtle (date unknown)

The dates given for the sculptures in the captions are often the date from a particular example. When I could find the date a work was originally created, I used that date. Duck Mother is dated 1924. If that is the date of the original, it may be one of Berge’s last pieces.

Edward Berge – Duck Mother (1923)

3 thoughts on “Edward Berge

  1. The first photo of the Sea Urchin is actually the copy at Mt Vernon Square (you can see Baltimore’s Washington Monument in the background). The original, as stated in the article, is at the JHU Homewood Campus about two miles north of there. The Mt Vernon area has an apparent artistic theme of nude statues of children, both girls and boys. I still hope to find time to do an article on this!

    • Thanks for the comment. It would be great if you could write an article on the Mt. Vernon area! I will look forward to reading it.

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