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de Creeft, José (27 November 1884–11 September 1982), sculptor and teacher, was born in Guadalajara, Spain, the son of Catalans Mariano de Creeft y Masdeu, a military officer, and Rosa Champane y Ortiz. When he was four the family moved to Barcelona, where in 1890 his father died. As a youth de Creeft helped support his family by modeling figurines for sale at the annual festival of Santa Lucia in 1895, and in 1898 he was an apprentice at the bronze foundry of Masriera and Campins. Two years later he entered the Madrid workshop of Augustin Querol, the official government sculptor, and studied drawing and sculpture, the latter with Ignacio Zuloaga. In 1903 he first exhibited portrait sculptures at El Círculo de Bellas Artes....

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Partridge, William Ordway (11 April 1861–22 May 1930), sculptor and art critic, was born in Paris, France, the son of George Sidney Partridge, Jr., a businessman and foreign representative of the A. T. Stewart firm, and Helen Derby Catlin. With the downfall of the Second Empire in 1870, the family returned to the United States. After early schooling at the Cheshire Military Academy in Connecticut and the Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn, Partridge entered Columbia College in New York in the fall of 1881. There he studied art and drama, but ill health interrupted those studies, and from the fall of 1882 until the spring of 1884 he traveled abroad. After several months in Germany, he spent brief periods studying art in Milan, Naples, Rome, Florence, and then Paris, where he attended lectures at the École des Beaux-Arts and received basic instruction in sculpture from Marius-Jean-Antonin Mercié....

Article

Rimmer, William (20 February 1816–20 August 1879), artist and teacher, was born in Liverpool, England, the son of Thomas Simon Rimmer, a shoemaker and laborer, and Mary Elizabeth Borroughs. His father believed himself to be the younger son of Louis XVI and rightful heir to the throne of France after the death of his older brother in 1789. This supposed royal heritage, which is historically unverifiable, provided the source for recurring themes and motifs in Rimmer’s later work. Rimmer was brought to the United States in 1818 and never returned to Europe. Raised in poverty, he spent most of his life eking out a living to support himself and his large family. In 1840 he married Mary Hazard Corey Peabody, with whom he had eight children. Rimmer was virtually unknown as an artist until he was forty-five. Partially educated by his father and partially self-taught, his diverse activities and talents extended beyond those of sculptor, painter, draftsman, printmaker, and teacher to include writer and physician. A learned anatomist, Rimmer practiced medicine in the Boston area from the late 1840s to the early 1860s, and through his study of art anatomy, he fashioned a personal grammar of form in which the male nude became a metaphor for themes of heroic struggle....

Article

Rush, William (04 July 1756–17 January 1833), sculptor and arts administrator, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph Rush, a ship carpenter, and Rebecca Lincoln. At that time, Philadelphia was the seat of the colonial government and a principal shipbuilding and mercantile center. Rush showed an early ability at carving and drawing. As a teenager he served a three-year apprenticeship to Edward Cutbush, a carver from London, and soon made better figureheads than his teacher. Probably by 1774 he had his own ship-carving business. On 9 September 1777, soon after the outbreak of the Revolution, Rush joined the American cause and was commissioned an ensign in the Fourth Regiment of Foot of Lieutenant Colonel Wills’s Philadelphia militia. Little else is known of his service. He married Martha Simpson Wallace on 14 December 1780; they had ten children. The eldest, John, became a ship carver and joined his father in business....

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Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Etching on paper, 1897, by Anders Leonard Zorn. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

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Saint-Gaudens, Augustus (01 March 1848–03 August 1907), sculptor and educator, was born Augustus Louis Saint-Gaudens in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Bernard Paul Ernest Saint-Gaudens, a French-born shoemaker, and Mary McGuiness, a native of Ireland. The family emigrated to the United States in the fall of 1848, sailing first for Boston, Massachusetts, but moving to New York City a month or so after arriving. Sometime after his brother Louis’s birth Augustus’s middle name was dropped. Augustus attended public schools in New York until the age of thirteen when his father apprenticed him to a cameo cutter named Avet. He characterized this three-year period as “a miserable slavery” ( ...

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Smithson, Robert Irving (02 January 1938–20 July 1973), artist and art theorist, was born in Passaic, New Jersey, the son of Irving Smithson, the vice president of a mortgage loan firm, and Susan Duke. Smithson grew up in Rutherford and Clifton, New Jersey. His pediatrician was the poet ...

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Young, Mahonri Mackintosh (09 August 1877–02 November 1957), sculptor, teacher, and painter, was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Mahonri Moriancumer Young, the owner of a textile factory, and Agnes Mackintosh; he was a grandson of Brigham Young. The family lived on a farm near Salt Lake City. His fondest early memories were playing in the woods and using clay from the nearby riverbed to form art objects. “I cannot remember when I did not want to be a sculptor,” reads the first line of his unfinished autobiography....