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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.