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 John David Brcin  (1899 - 1983)

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Lived/Active: Illinois/Colorado / Croatia      Known for: sculpture

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David Brcin is primarily known as John David Brcin

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Neoclassical Couple
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John David Brcin (1899-1983)

Born in Gracac, Croatia, in 1899, John David Brcin was raised by his uncle, who was a farmer, carpenter, and stonemason.  Carving in wood was one of the many accomplishments of his uncle, and it was with him that Brcin learned how to handle simple carving tools and create such items as spoons, forks, and crosses.  At age 14 Brcin joined his brother in Gary, Indiana, to begin what he called his "Americanization."

In the fall of 1917, he enrolled in the sculpture class of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received a number of awards and honors that culminated in a fellowship to study in Europe.  He spent 1921 in Serbia (by then part of Yugoslavia), Italy, and France, returning to further study and additional awards at the Institute in 1922 and 1923.  By 1929, the young sculptor had been featured in a number of group exhibitions and in 1928 was the subject of a one-artist show organized in Chicago. The exhibition subsequently traveled to the Brooks Memorial Gallery in Memphis, the Art Institute of Omaha, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Witte Museum in San Antonio.

In the following decades, Brcin continued to receive public commissions, but the rise of Abstract Expressionism consigned him to the margins of 20th-century art history.  He died in Boulder, Colorado, in 1983

A statue of a Sioux warrior on a rearing horse, proposed and modeled by John David Brcin  in the late 1920s for the entrance to the Joslyn Memorial (now Joslyn Art Museum), is the signature work of art in the entry plaza of the Museum's Peter Kiewit Foundation Sculpture Garden.

The sculpture was realized by artist Matthew Placzek.


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