George Grey Barnard

George Grey Barnard

thumb|upright|George_Grey_Barnard,_photographed_by_Carl Van Vechten, 1947] George Grey Barnard (May 24, 1863 - April 24, 1938) was an American sculptor. Barnard was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Kankakee, Illinois. He first studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, and in 1883–1887 worked in P. T. Cavelier’s atelier at Paris while he attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He lived in Paris for twelve years, and with his first exhibit at the Salon of 1894 he scored a great success, returning to America in 1896.

A strong Rodin influence is evident in his early work. His principal works include, “The Boy” (1885); “Cain” (1886), later destroyed; “Brotherly Love,” sometimes called “Two Friends” (1887); the allegorical “Two Natures” (1894, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York); “The Hewer” (1902, at Cairo, Illinois); “Great God Pan” Dodge Hall quadrangle, Columbia University campus, New York City; the “Rose Maiden”; the simple and graceful “Maidenhood”. In 1912 he completed several figures for the new state capitol at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A colossal statue of Abraham Lincoln, in 1917, was the subject of heated controversy because of its rough-hewn features and slouching stance. The first casting is in Cincinnati, Ohio (1917), the second in Manchester, England (1919), and the third in Louisville, Kentucky (1922).

"The Great God Pan", one of the first works Barnard completed after his return to America, according to at least one account, was originally intended for the Dakota Apartments on Central Park West. Alfred Corning Clark, builder of the Dakota, had financed Barnard's early career; when Clark died in 1896, the Clark family presented Barnard's "Two Natures" to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in his memory, and the giant bronze "Pan" was presented to Columbia University, by Clark's son, Edward Severin Clark, 1907.

Interested in medieval art, Barnard gathered discarded fragments of medieval architecture from French villages. He established this collection in a churchlike brick building near his home in Washington Heights, New York City. The collection was purchased by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1925 and forms part of the nucleus of The Cloisters collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [ Metropolitan Museum of Art website article] on the Cloisters]

Barnard died following a heart attack on April 24, 1938 at the Harkness Pavilion, Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He was working on a statue of Abel, betrayed by his brother Cain, when he fell ill. He is interred at Harrisburg Cemetery in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


External links

* [ Kankakee County Historical Society biography.]
* [ Chronology of George Grey's life and contributions to the art world.]
* [ Centre County Historical Society]
* [ George Grey Barnard] at Find-A-Grave

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