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Herbert Samuel Adams. As Cardinal Bird, with Arvia MacKaye Ege as Hummingbird, in Percy MacKaye's Sanctuary, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G41-CT-0074).

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Adams, Herbert Samuel (28 January 1858–21 May 1945), sculptor, was born in West Concord, Vermont, the son of Samuel Minot Adams, a machinist and patternmaker, and Nancy Ann Powers. Adams grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He studied at a technical school in Worcester and at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston before traveling to Paris, where he studied with Antonin Mercié at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1885 to 1890. In 1888 he made a bronze fountain for the town of Fitchburg that features two boys playing with turtles. In 1888–1889 his work won an honorable mention at a Paris exhibition....

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Aitken, Robert Ingersoll (08 May 1878–03 January 1949), sculptor, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles H. Aitken and Katherine A. Higgens. He received his training at the Mark Hopkins Institute of Art in San Francisco, where he studied under Arthur F. Matthews and Douglas Tilden. At the young age of nineteen Aitken opened his own studio. His first major commission, in 1902, was to create a monument to President ...

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Andrei, Giovanni (1770–21 October 1824), sculptor, was born in Carrara, Italy. His parents’ names and occupations are unknown. His earliest known work was the creation of the balustrade of the high altar at Santa Maria Novella in Florence. In 1805 Benjamin Henry Latrobe...

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Archipenko, Alexander Porfirevich (30 May 1887–25 February 1964), sculptor, was born in Kiev, Ukraine, the son of Porfiry Antonovich Archipenko, a mechanical engineer, inventor, and professor of engineering, and Poroskovia Wassilevna Machova. Archipenko decided early on a career in art and attended art school in Kiev from 1902 to 1905. The next year he left for Moscow, where he worked and participated in different group shows. In 1908 he left his native land for Paris....

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E. D. Lloyd-Kimbrel

Augur, Hezekiah (21 February 1791–10 January 1858), sculptor, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Hezekiah Augur, Sr., a carpenter, and his second wife, Lydia Atwater. The boy early on learned to use his father’s tools and even tinkered with making machinery. In a letter written when he was eight years old, Hezekiah noted that he “preferred the confines of the shop to fighting schoolfellows” (French, p. 47). His father, however, apprenticed him at the age of nine to a grocer; Augur, Sr., apparently wanted his son to aspire to more than a manual trade, even though young Hezekiah seemed quite happy carving wood. One of his duties in the grocery was to fix and make shoes. He was more adept at the awl than the record book, however, and upon finishing his apprenticeship seems to have been regarded as “an abominably poor grocer, but a proficient cobbler” (French, p. 47)....

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Bailly, Joseph Alexis (21 January 1825–15 June 1883), sculptor, was born in Paris, France, the son of Joseph Philidor Bailly, a maker of cabinet furniture. His mother’s name is unknown. As a young man, Bailly studied under Baron Bozio at the French Institute, then worked for his father and in various woodworking shops turning and carving ornamental furniture. Early in his career he carved gargoyles in the castle of the marquis de Lussac in Tourraine. During the 1848 French revolution he was conscripted into the army, but his sympathies lay with the revolutionaries, and after he shot at his own regiment’s captain he was forced to flee for his life. In England he studied briefly with Edward Hodges Baily, a member of the Royal Academy. Following sojourns in New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia, he married Louisa David of Brie, France, in 1850 and settled in Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter he and his wife spent a year in Buenos Aires....

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Ball, Thomas (03 June 1819–11 December 1911), sculptor and author, was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of Thomas Ball, a house and sign painter, and Elizabeth Wyer Hall. He attended the Mayhew School until age twelve, when his father died. Needing to help support the family, Ball found work at Kimball’s Boston Museum and Fine Arts Gallery, where he performed tasks that included repairing wax figures and conducting tours. Ball learned to cut silhouettes for museum visitors to supplement his income, but he described himself as exhibiting no artistic talent until he was fifteen or sixteen years old. As his interest in art grew he apprenticed himself briefly to Abel Bowen, a wood engraver. After a few months he returned to work at the museum and began painting miniatures and portraits. In 1837 he set up a small studio in Boston, where he worked hard to establish himself as a professional portrait painter. He entered art exhibitions, receiving much encouragement. He began to work in clay and found it a more interesting medium for his talent. His first work, modeled in clay and produced in plaster, was a small bust of the celebrated Swedish singer Jenny Lind (1851). Many copies were sold, and its success brought Ball orders for small-scale cabinet busts of other musicians....

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George Grey Bernard. Photograph by Carl Van Vechten. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-103720).

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Barnard, George Grey (24 May 1863–24 April 1938), sculptor, was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph H. Barnard, a Presbyterian minister, and Martha Gray Grubbe. Before his seventeenth year, George had moved with his family first to Waukosha, Wisconsin, and later to Chicago and Kankakee, Illinois, and to Muscatine, Iowa. In 1880 Barnard entered the Chicago Academy of Design, the forerunner of the Chicago Art Institute. There he studied under academy founder ...

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Theresa Leininger-Miller

Barthé, Richmond (28 January 1901–06 March 1989), sculptor, was born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, the son of Richmond Barthé and Marie Clementine Roboteau, a seamstress. His father died when Barthé was one month old. Barthé began drawing as a child and first exhibited his work at the county fair in Mississippi at age twelve. He did not attend high school, but he learned about his African heritage from books borrowed from a local grocer and publications given to him by a wealthy white family that vacationed in Bay St. Louis. This family, which had connections to Africa through ambassadorships, hired Barthé as a butler when he was in his teens; he moved with them to New Orleans. At age eighteen Barthé won first prize for a drawing he sent to the Mississippi County Fair. Lyle Saxon, literary critic of the ...

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Bartlett, Paul Wayland (24 January 1865–20 September 1925), sculptor, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, the son of Truman Howe Bartlett, a teacher, and art historian, and Mary Ann White. Bartlett belongs to a generation of American sculptors who turned to France for inspiration and training. In 1880 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts as a pupil of Pierre-Jules Cavelier, supplementing his formal studies with instruction in animal sculpture from Emmanuel Frémiet. Bartlett eventually completed his training as an assistant in the studio of Auguste Rodin....

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Bertoia, Harry (10 March 1915–06 November 1978), sculptor and designer, was born in San Lorenzo, near Udine, in northeastern Italy, the son of Giuseppe Bertoia, a miner and laborer. His mother’s name is unknown. He was given his English name by his father, who had previously lived in Canada. As a teenager Bertoia emigrated with his father to Canada and then to Detroit, where his brother had earlier settled. Bertoia enrolled in Cleveland Junior High School in Detroit. Because of his talent in drawing he was allowed to enroll in a special class for artistically gifted students at Cass Technical High School, also in Detroit, where he received his first formal training in art, including metalsmithing. In 1936 he attended the School of the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts on scholarship to study painting and drawing. In 1937 Bertoia received another scholarship based on his metalwork to attend the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan....

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Bissell, George Edwin (16 February 1839–30 August 1920), sculptor, was born in New Preston, Connecticut, the son of Hiram Bissell, a quarryman and marble worker, and Isabella Jones. In 1853 his father moved the family to Waterbury, where young George became a clerk in a general store. He was educated at the Northville Academy and at Dr. Gunn’s Gunnery Academy in Washington, Connecticut. During the Civil War he served in the Twenty-third Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers and then in the U.S. Navy as paymaster. In 1865 he married Mary E. Welton of Waterbury. The number of their children, if any, is unknown....

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Bitter, Karl Theodore Francis (06 December 1867–09 April 1915), architectural sculptor, was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Karl Johann Bitter, owner of a small household chemicals business, and Henriette Reitter. He attended the Volkschule in the suburb of Rudolfsheim and entered its Gymnasium at age nine. From 1881 to 1884 he attended the School of Applied Arts attached to the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry in Vienna, concentrating on ornamental drawing and modeling. In the spring of 1885 Bitter was enrolled in the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts where he attended primarily sculpture classes until the spring of 1888. His mentor, Edmund Heller, was a member of the liberal faction of the faculty which favored a naturalistic baroque style over the conservative tradition of neoclassicism inherited from Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen....

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Gutzon Borglum Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1915. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0880).

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Borglum, Gutzon (25 March 1867–06 March 1941), sculptor, was born near Great Bear Lake in Idaho Territory, the son of Jens Møller Haugaard Borglum, a Mormon-convert carpenter from Denmark, and Christina Mikkelsen (later Cristine Michelson). Jens also had another wife, Christina’s sister Ida. Christina was the mother both of the christened John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum, and of a second son. Ida also had a son by Jens. After Christina withdrew from the troublesome plural marriage, Jens took Ida and their son to St. Louis, became a physician, and changed his name to James Miller Borglum, practicing medicine in Fremont, Nebraska. Eventually he and Ida had a total of seven children. Gutzon attended school in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1882, worked in a machine shop in Omaha, became an apprentice lithographer in Los Angeles in 1883, and studied painting. In 1888 he completed a portrait of ...

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Borglum, Solon Hannibal (22 December 1868–31 January 1922), sculptor, was born in Ogden, Utah, the son of James Jens de la Mothe Borglum, a woodcarver turned doctor, and Christina Michelson. Solon’s parents had immigrated to America from Denmark in the mid-1860s. They settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, and became Mormon converts. Jens, Christina, and her sister Ida were in the same polygamous union, which was then permitted by the Mormon church. Shortly after the birth of their two children, however, Jens and Christina decided to have their marriage dissolved, whereupon Ida came to be regarded as Solon’s mother....

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Marjorie A. Walter

Boyle, John J. (12 January 1851–10 February 1917), sculptor, was born in New York City, the son of Samuel Boyle, a stonecutter, and Catherine McAuley. Boyle’s family relocated to Philadelphia before his first birthday, and his father died five years later. As a boy Boyle attended public schools and worked as an apprentice stonecutter and stonecarver. In 1872 he enrolled in the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he studied with ...

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Brackett, Edward Augustus (01 October 1818–15 March 1908), sculptor and writer, was born in Vassalborough, Maine, the son of the Quaker Reuben Brackett, a farmer, clockmaker, and oil cloth manufacturer, and Eliza Starkey. He resisted his parents’ attempts to send him to school and passed through a series of six apprenticeships. His parents moved from Boston, Massachusetts, to Cincinnati, Ohio, in early 1837, and he was employed there making patterns for paper strainers. In Cincinnati Brackett became familiar with the portrait sculpture of ...