Sculptor Frederic Littman (1907-1979) was professor at Portland State University for 30 years, and made Mother and Child in 1956. Littman also made Farewell to Orpheus which sits in a small fountain outside of PSU’s Smith Center in the South Park Blocks of Eurydice swept away and back down to the Underworld, and Seat of Wisdom which is pinned to the facade of the University of Portland library.

Mother and Child came from a bequest in 1949 by Florence Laberee, widow of George Laberee, a Portland homebuilder.

Briefly married to sculptor Marianne Gold Littman (1907-1999) Littman taught thousands of students, including longtime PNCA teacher Manuel Izquierdo.

In 1990 the statue was stolen by vandals (drat!) who sawed Mother at the ankles then dragged the 270 pound bronze down the hill. Cops found it in a house in NE Portland after an anonymous tip a few days later.

From the Oregonian – On Saturday, a man and a woman walked slowly by the black marble base of the statue, looking puzzled about its disappearance.

“I wonder who would do such a thing?” the woman remarked. “It was so pretty how it used to stand there. It’s almost as if we’ve all been robbed.”

The man shook his head and sighed.

“It doesn’t surprise me, the way things like crime have been going on in Portland.”

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