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Sculptor William Henry Rinehart

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Endymion Sleeping Children Ellen Walters Girl Strewing Flowers
Bust of William Walters Roger B. Taney Clytie Statue (BMA) William Prescott Smith

William Henry Rinehart was born in Union Bridge, MD in 1825. The son of a farmer, William began his career working as a fieldhand. The ambitious youth quickly graduated to an apprenticeship with a local stonecutter, an enforcement of his already peaked interest in the arts. In 1844 William moved to Baltimore, taking a job at Baughman and Bevan, then the largest stonecutting firm in the city. Initially tasked with fireplace mantel repair work, one of Rinehart’s first customers was William Walters, a railroad and whiskey man of considerable wealth who would go on the found the Walters Art Musuem. Walters, an avid art collector, was so impressed with Rinehart that he decided to sponsor the young artist. Their fruitful partnership lasted until the sculptor’s death in 1874.

Baltimore has a variety of Rinehart’s work on public display. The Baltimore Museum of Art has two of his important pieces, each designed in the Neoclassical style. Atalanta, an athlete in Greek Mythology, was finished after Rinehart’s death and may have been one of the last things he worked on. Clytie, considered to be the artist’s masterpiece, was completed in 1872 and purchased by John W. McCoy. A year later McCoy donated the statue to the Peabody Institute. Positioned in the middle of a dimly lit room lined with paintings, Clytie is both dignified and mischievous at the same time.

A bronze bust of William Walters is recessed in the outer wall of the Walters Art Museum at Mount Vernon Place. Inside the historic gallery are several pieces by Rinehart, including his original marble likeness of Mr. Walters, the Woman of Samaria and Brooch with Cameo of Spring.

Green Mount Cemetery contains several sculptures by Rinehart, including the renown Sleeping Children, of which there are twenty-five reproductions in galleries and private collections throughout the world. The work was commissioned by Baltimore businessman Hugh Sisson to memorialize his lost children. 150 years of wind and rain has deteriorated Sleeping Children in an elegant manner.

In the center of the cemetery, near the Mausoleum, Girl Strewing Flowers stands atop the Walters Family Plot, her stoic gaze fixed south. William Walters, his wife Ellen, their son Henry and the family servants reside peacefully below the majestic statue. Adjacent to Girl Strewing Flowers is the Tucker Memorial by J. Maxwell Miller. Miller graduated from the Rinehart School of Sculpture.

Known as the “last important American sculptor to work in the classical style,” William Henry Rinehart is one of Maryland’s greatest treasures. He is buried in Green Mount Cemetery, a bronze reproduction of his Endymion statue rests peacefully atop his headstone.

Written by monumentcity

March 21st, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Stonecutter Hugh Sisson

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Hugh Sisson was born in Baltimore in the twentieth year of the 19th Century. He began an apprenticeship in marble cutting at the age of sixteen, and seven years later, after achieving master status in the field, started his own company. The young Baltimorean quickly rose to the top of his profession, securing government and residential contracts throughout the city. By 1881 the Sisson family business had 1017 employees working in a network of marble mills and quarries. The enterprise provided the marble work for the interiors of City Hall, the Peabody Institute and a long list of other buildings. Hugh Sisson’s greatest accomplishment may be in the District of Columbia. His steam-powered mills fabricated the columns for the U. S. Capital building.

The Edgar Allan Poe Grave Monument is also the work of the master stonecutter. Dedicated in 1875, the Egyptian style monument was designed by George A. Frederick and carved by Sisson. The memorial is situated at Westminster Burying Ground.

Green Mount Cemetery is home to many headstones etched at Sisson’s Steam Marble Works. While I was locating Olivia Cushing Whitridge (Green Mount’s first interment) I noticed H Sisson inscribed at the bottom edge of a grave in the Whitridge family plot. The otherwise unreadable marker points in the direction of its creator. Hugh Sisson is buried with his work, a towering obelisk in the eastern section of the graveyard nobly marks his grave. He died in 1893. William Henry Rinehart‘s eloquent Sleeping Children sculpture is contained within the Sisson family plot.

Written by monumentcity

January 30th, 2011 at 9:35 am

The Sculptors of Early America

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In 1803, Benjamin H. Latrobe became the superintendent of construction for the United States. He began his tenure by focusing efforts on the unfinished Capitol building in Washington. His ideas and designs, heavily influenced by Roman architecture, contained elaborate frieze and relief work. Unsatisfied with American artists of the early 19th century, the British-born architect began corresponding with colleagues in Europe in hopes of hiring a more skilled set of sculptors. This opened the door for numerous European artisans to earn generous commissions in the United States. This ongoing list deals with the sculptors of early America and their extant work in Baltimore.

Antonio Capellano

  1. Angel of Truth (First Unitarian Church)
  2. Battle Monument
  3. Christ Breaking Bread and Moses with Tables of Law (Old Saint Paul’s Church)
  4. Bust of George Washington (Peale Museum)

Enrico Causici

  1. Washington Resigning his Commission (Washington Monument)

Augustin Chevalier

  1. Ceres and Neptune (Peale Museum Courtyard)

Giuseppe Ceracchi

  1. Bust of George Washington (Washington Monument Museum)

Giuseppe Franzoni

  1. Spandrel Arch from the Commercial & Farmers Bank (1813)
  2. Saint Mary’s Chapel (interior sculptures)

Giovanni Andrei

  1. Saint Mary’s Chapel (interior sculptures)

Written by monumentcity

February 24th, 2010 at 7:20 am

Posted in All Posts,Artist

Antonio Capellano’s Bust of George Washington

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The first piece of gallery sculpture owned by the city of Baltimore was a bust of George Washington by Antonio Capellano. In 1823, Capellano, then living in Charm City, was anxious to obtain the commission for the statue of Washington planned for the Mount Vernon Place Monument. As an example of his work he presented the city with a marble likeness of America’s first president. He subsequently lost the commission to Italian artist Enrico Causici, but the gifted bust was kept and initially displayed in Rembrandt Peale’s Baltimore Museum. The information above and photograph below come from The Story of America’s Oldest Museum Building by Wilbur Harvey Hunter. The sculpture is on display at the Maryland Historical Society.

Written by monumentcity

February 12th, 2010 at 11:55 am

Sculptor Grace Turnbull

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Grace Turnbull was an artist of extraordinary perseverance, one of Baltimore’s treasures she lived until 95, producing a series of sculptures, paintings and writings throughout her life. Her former house, located at 223 Chancery Road was designed by her architect brother Bayard Turnbull and contains four large outer beams sculpted by Grace herself. Built in 1927, the house was once situated in rural Waverly. As the city expanded a community grew around the historic house, the estate forming the center of the north Baltimore neighborhood of Guilford.

Part of the realist generation of American artists, Turnbull (1880-1976) exemplified a fiery spirit, carving marble with a hammer and chisel until she was 90. Her Reese Monument sits on a grassy knoll in front of the old Eastern High School building on 33rd street. The marble sculpture is directly across from the former site of Memorial Stadium. Turnbull also created the Naiad Statue near the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon.

Written by monumentcity

December 31st, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Sculptor Antonio Capellano

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The commission for the Battle Monument was won by French architect Maximilian Godefroy in 1815, one year after the Battle of Baltimore. Godefroy hired Italian artist Antonio Capellano to complete the statue and relief work he incorporated into his design. While waiting for Godefroy during the monument’s conception, Capellano was hired by Robert Cary Long, Sr. to create facade reliefs for the third Old St. Paul’s Church. The building burned down in 1854, but the sculptures were spared and installed in Richard Upjohn’s building that stands today. Capellano and Godefroy also worked together on the First Unitarian Church (just north of the Basilica, approaching the Washington Monument) for which the Italian sculptor created the Angel of Truth in 1818. The sculpture was reconstructed by local artist Henry Berge (son of Edward Berge) in 1960.

Written by monumentcity

June 5th, 2009 at 11:50 am

Posted in All Posts,Artist

Sculptor J. Maxwell Miller

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Star-Spangled Banner Confederate Women Ferdinand Latrobe Tucker Memorial

J. Maxwell Miller (1877-1933) studied sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and between 1900 and 1905, traveled to France to learn further from Raoul Verlet at the Julian Academy in Paris. His creations were well received in Europe, and when he returned to Baltimore he began his private practice preparing fine art for commission. Miller’s detailed work is best exemplified in the Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Monument in Patterson Park. Dedicated in 1914, during the city’s centennial celebration of defensive victory in the War of 1812, the monument was placed directly in front of the park’s observatory. The accessible location allows a close inspection of Miller’s craft.

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May 23rd, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Posted in All Posts,Artist

Sculptor Edward Berge

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On The Trail Statue Col. Watson Monument Chapin Harris Bust Sea Urchin – JHU
Ferdinand Latrobe Armistead – Fort McHenry Belair WWI Memorial Wildflower

Edward Henry Berge was born in Baltimore in 1876. The son of 1st generation German immigrants, Edward’s father Henry was a trained stonecutter and an architect. Old Town’s B’nai Israel Synagogue is a lasting example of the senior Berge’s work. Raised in a modest house (also built by his father) near the Baltimore Cemetery gatehouse, Edward grew up in a rural environment driving horses and carving stones.

In 1899 he enrolled as one of seven initial students at the Rinehart School of Sculpture. His colleagues J. Maxwell Miller and Hans Schuler attended the Baltimore institution along with him. Following graduation Edward traveled to France where he studied under Auguste Rodin.

He sculpted his On The Trail statue during this time period. The fine example of early 20th Century realist sculpture stands in Clifton Park. Upon completing his apprenticeship Edward Berge moved back to Baltimore and began sculpting professionally.

The artist received a healthy amount of commissions during his career, always providing a decent living for his family. Known for his studies of children, Edward’s work can be found in gardens across the globe. Wildflower represents his preeminent work. Created in 1909, in 1916 it was chosen most loved piece at San Francisco’s Panama Pacific exhibition. One of three originals stands just off Springlake Way in the north Baltimore community of Homeland.

The photographs above represent a large portion of Edward Berge’s existing work in Charm City. He died of a heart attack in 1924 and is buried in Lorraine Park Cemetery. His sons Henry and Stephens were also professional artists.

Written by monumentcity

May 16th, 2009 at 10:15 am

Posted in All Posts,Artist

Sculptor Hans Schuler

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Sculptor Hans Schuler (1874-1951) was born in Alsace-Lorraine, Germany. He moved with his family to the United States as a child, settling in Baltimore, where he spent the rest of his life. Schuler studied at the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College Art, and eventually traveled to France to further his education with Raoul Verlet. In 1901, he won the Salon Gold Medal in Paris, making him the first American sculptor to receive the prestigious award. Along with his numerous outdoor public monuments in Baltimore, his work can also be found in important art galleries such as the Walters Art Museum and the Fogg Art Museum. He also created a multitude of cemetery pieces, most of which are located in Green Mount, Loudon Park and Druid Ridge Cemeteries. Hans Schuler was director of MICA from 1925 until the year of his death.

O’Donovan Memorial Cochran Memorial Hilken Memorial Marburg Memorial
Meditations Baejter Memorial Schmeisser Memorial Commodore Rollins
Maulsby Memorial Riggs Memorial Fallsway Fountain Martin Luther
Johns Hopkins Johns Hopkins Johns Hopkins Sidney Lanier
Samuel Smith General Pulaski Husted-Kleinle Memorial Goldenberg Memorial
To the Glory of Maryland Key Death Marker Centennial Eagle William Pinkney Whyte

In 1906, Schuler moved into his studio and residence at 5 E. Lafayette Street, now the Schuler School of Fine Arts and Gallery. Established by his children, the small school offers a curriculum organized around realist art and a study of the Old Masters. Most of Schuler’s work was created in the 2-story, Howard Sill designed building.

Written by monumentcity

March 3rd, 2009 at 3:12 pm