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 William Grosvenor Congdon  (1912 - 1998)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/Rhode Island / Italy      Known for: modernist-leaning landscape, religion, sculptor

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Ad Code: 3
William Grosvenor Congdon
from Auction House Records.
Africa 9 - Niger 1
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
William Congdon was born in Providence, Rhode Island on April 15, 1912 into a wealthy family.  He was raised in the best tradition of local society, attending dancing classes, summering near Newport, studying at St. Mark's School.   He studied at Yale University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Demetrious School of Sculpture,  and the Provincetown School of Art with Henry Hensche. He astounded his family by plunging headlong into the study of sculpture, becoming very expert so quickly that he was soon commissioned to do a series of garden figures and portraits.

This profitable career was interrupted in 1942 when Congdon joined the American Field Service, following the war from El Alamein to Belsen.  Soon after, he threw himself into relief work in Italy when the Quakers rebuilt the mutilated towns of the Sangro Valley.  When he finally came home, his old easy life, the conventional sculpture that lined his studio, seemed meaningless and distasteful.  Abruptly he took off for New York, rented a bare room in the Bowery and began to paint.  In a fury of emotion he poured out his impressions of the bewildering immensity of the city and his memories of the glowing, shadowy palaces of Italy.

Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers, 1986-7
Life Magazine

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