Left: I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold. Charles Demuth (American, 1883–1935). Oil, graphite, ink, and gold leaf on paperboard; 35 1/2 x 30 in.; 1928. Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949 (49.59.1). Right: Figure 5 Watch, $48 Actual Retail Value
I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold in The Met collection is from a series of abstract portraits of his friends by artist Charles Demuth (American, 1883–1935). This 1928 work pays homage to the American poet and physician William Carlos Williams. Demuth’s portrait consists of images associated with “The Great Figure,” a poem describing the experience of seeing a red fire engine with the number 5 painted on it racing through the city.