Homeowners, Tisbury police search for Tulin sculpture torso

The piece on the left was taken from the deck of the Payettes' home on Lake Tashmoo.
Photo courtesy of Granary Gallery

The piece on the left was taken from the deck of the Payettes' home on Lake Tashmoo.

For years, the Payette family of Cambridge and Tisbury treasured a unique sculpture that graced their seasonal home overlooking Lake Tashmoo.

Created by artist Ella Tulin, who was known for her elongated and exaggerated forms, the sculpture, built in two parts, depicted a woman — enlarged thighs set off by a miniature torso. She had become part of the family.

The sculpture rested on an outdoor deck. On a visit to the Island, the Payettes noticed that the sculpture was missing an integral piece, the torso. Unlike the thighs, cast in bronze and quite heavy, the torso is light and made of an epoxy composite.

Tisbury Police detective Mark Santon said someone may have taken the head with the notion of selling it for scrap and then discarded it when they realized it had no value.

The missing piece is of great sentimental value to the Payettes. “We got to know the sculptress Ella Tulin quite well,” Tom Payette said in a telephone call. “This is a disappointing loss.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Tisbury Police at 508-696-4240.