American Sculpture at a Crossroads, 1914-1945

American Sculpture at a Crossroads, 1914-1945

A 360⁰ view with Dr. Thayer Tolles

Bernard Osher Foundation Auditorium
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Gaston Lachaise, Robert Laurent, Elie Nadelman, and William Zorach helped direct American sculpture toward modernism through their innovative interpretations of the oldest of artistic subjects: the human form. What else was happening in American sculpture at the same time? How did other major artists such as Daniel Chester French, Harriet Frishmuth, and Paul Manship respond to aesthetic change and innovation in their figurative work? This special lecture will contextualize the innovations of Lachaise, Laurent, Nadelman, and Zorach by examining how they fit within a generation of American sculptors who appropriated the past and grappled with a fast-moving present through their selection of subjects, materials, and marketing strategies.

Dr. Thayer Tolles is the Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A sculpture specialist, she served as editor and co-author of a two-volume catalogue of the Metropolitan’s historic American sculpture collection (1999, 2001). Among her exhibitions are Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009) and The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925 (2013-15), both accompanied by publications. 

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