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 Francis Edwin Elwell  (1858 - 1922)

About: Francis Edwin Elwell


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Lived/Active: New York/Connecticut/Massachusetts      Known for: sculpture-commemorative monument

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BIOGRAPHY for Francis Elwell
1858 (Hubbardville, Massachusetts)
1922 (Darien, Connecticut)

New York/Connecticut/Massachusetts

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sculpture-commemorative monument

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The adopted son of author Louisa May Alcott, Frances Elwell became a sculptor whose first teacher was his stepmother. Among his works is "Seventh Rhode Island Infantry Memorial" at the Vicksburg, Mississippi National Military Park. Elwell's Union soldier in this piece was part of the park's commemoration of Civil War heroes. It is a work that is linked to the tradition of doughboys, solitary sculpted figures representative of the bravery of many soldiers. His sculpture is also at the Battle of Gettysburg Park in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; the cemetery in Lowell, Massachusetts, and the Old Cathedral in Edam, Holland.

Elwell was born in Concord, Massachusetts and had his studio in New York City. He was a student of Daniel Chester French in Concord and studied in France at the Ecole des Beaux Arts.

He was a member of the National Sculpture Society and the National Art Club and exhibited with those associations as well as with the Boston Art Club, the Paris Salon, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Chicago Exposition of 1893.

Elwell died in 1922 in Darien, Connecticut.

Sources include:
Donald Martin Reynolds, Masters of American Sculpture
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

Some additional information submitted by researcher Linda M. Blythe:

Francis was first taught by Louisa May Alcott's sister who went by the name of May Alcott. She was a professional painter herself.  She also taught Daniel Chester French, who was only 10 years older than Elwell.  As far as I can determine, Elwell was not a student of French's although they shared a studio early in Elwell's career and they both worked on sculpture on the Alexander Hamilton Custom House at 1 Bowling Green in NYC.  One of Elwell's greatest sculptures is "Charles Dickens and Little Nell" which is located in Clark Park, Philadelphia.  It received the gold medal at the World's Columbia Exposition in 1893 in Chicago.

Elwell often signed his works with F. E. Elwell or F. Edwin Elwell.

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