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April 20, 1927

American sculptor and teacher Lorado Taft delivered a comprehensive illustrated lecture on “American Sculpture and Sculptors.” Tracing American sculpture back to the early 18th century, Taft identified the New Jersey wax works of Patience Wright and the later work in wood by William Rush and in marble by a “gravestone man from New Jersey,” John Frazee as the beginnings of American sculpture, saying that “America in particular needs the fine arts because this country has so little background of tradition.”

Taft discussed the work of Augustus Saint Gaudens at length. Claiming Saint Gaudens as the greatest American sculptor, Taft praised most highly his memorial to Clover Adams, the Adams Memorial in Rock Creek cemetery in Washington, D. C.

“At the close of his lecture, Mr. Taft showed again the picture of Saint Gaudens’s draped figure which has symbolized so much to the different persons who have seen it, as the greated acheivement of American sculpture.”

The Miscellany News

Taft’s Modern Tendencies in Sculpture (1921), a compilation of his lectures at the Art Institute of Chicago, was a landmark survey of the medium in America and Europe in the 20th century.

The Years