The Passion of Collecting Academic Nudes

Join me as we explore my collection of Academic Nudes from the 18th, 19th, and Early 20th Centuries and serendipitous finds in the Museum, Art Auction, and Gallery world......examples from the Golden Age of the European Academie

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Review: A Century of American Sculpture: The Roman Bronze Works Foundry

Cover page...

Pattern Shop...early 20th century

For those of you interested in bronze casting and sculptures, I can recommend adding this volume to your art library. The text includes a history of the Roman Bronze Works (RBW), a description of the casting process, and brief description of the various artists associated with the foundry along with examples of their works cast at the foundry. The RBW became the premier lost-wax foundry in the United States during the first half of the 20th century and the foundry of choice for many of the countries most famous sculptors. Riccardo Bertelli (1870-1955), along with an obscure sculptor and founder named Giuseppe Moretti, founded the RBW in 1897 in Manhattan. It was the first foundry in the U.S. to devote itself exclusively to lost-wax casting technique. RBW made casting the most intricate bronze sculpture possible by allowing for a greater clarity of detail and more complex textures. Lost-wax techniques also invited closer collaboration of the artist during the casting process. Among the first artists to be drawn to the method of casting was Frederick Remington. Another close relationship developed was between RBW and Tiffany and Company. The list of major sculptors using RBW during the 20th century included August St. Gaudens, Daniel Chester French and Thomas Eakins. The book is a little pricey and a typical publication of the Schiffer Publishing company, but worth adding to any library.

Here are but a few of the profuse illustrations:

Adolf Weinman ... Narcissus ... 1923

Thomas Eakins ... Youth Playing flute ... recast by RBW 1930

Texas War Memorial 1918

Robert Tait McKenzie - Flying Sphere ... 1919

Edward McCartan ... Diana with Hound .... 1920

Alexander Stirling Calder .. Reclining Female Nude

Alnin Polasek ... Forest Idyll ... 1930

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