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 Stanley Bleifeld  (1924 - 2011)

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Lived/Active: Connecticut/New York / Italy      Known for: figurative sculpture, sports figures and religious themes

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A sculptor and President of the National Sculpture Society* from 1991 to 1993, Stanley Bleifeld was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and was an art student at Temple University in Philadelphia.  He began his fine-art career as a painter. However, a visit to Italy and exposure to the bronzes of Donatello, Michelangelo, and Ghiberti changed his direction.  Many of his early pieces were religious subjects, and reflected both painting and sculptural techniques in bas reliefs* that had "liquid landscapes in undulating reliefs and free-flowing portraits reminiscent of classical fragments" (166-167).  He later turned from these abstract* pieces to more realistic figures in bronze.

In 1990, Bleifeld received the Henry Hering memorial Medal of the National Sculpture Society for his over life-size figure, Lone Sailor, at the Visitors Center in Washington DC.  It is a single bronze figure, seven feet high, standing on the "largest map of the world---a 100 foot-diameter granite gridwork", which symbolizes all the men and women of the Armed Forces through this one sailor with his hands in his pocket and looking out over the whole world.  In keeping with the theme of water, the Lone Sailor is surrounded by fountains, waterfalls, and pools.  Another work by Bleifeld is the sculpture group, Homecoming, for the Visitors Center, located behind the Lone Sailor memorial.

Bleifeld has also been a workshop teacher including the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Donald Martin Reynolds, Masters of American Sculpture
Scottsdale Artists School

* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is the obituary of the artist, The New York Times, April 1, 2011

Stanley Bleifeld, a figurative sculptor whose bronzes adorn the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Navy Memorial in Washington and museums including the Museum of the City of New York, died on March 26 in Norwalk, Conn.  He was 86 and had homes in Weston and Pietrasanta, Italy. T he cause was a brain hemorrhage after a fall in his studio, his daughter, Becky Bleifeld Black, said.

Mr. Bleifield’s focus in the course of his career included religious themes, work inspired by his service in the Navy during World War II and pieces that reflected his love of baseball. His best-known works include The Lone Sailor and The Homecoming, at the Navy Memorial, and baseball legends including Satchel Paige and Roy Campanella at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

His most recent major work, a tribute to the struggle for civil rights titled It Seemed Like Reaching for the Moon, was dedicated at the Richmond, Va., statehouse in 2008.

Mr. Bleifeld was born in Brooklyn on Aug. 28, 1924.  In 1949 he married Naomi Ruby.  That same year he completed a master’s degree in painting at Temple University. He gave up painting for sculpture after a trip to Rome in 1960.

In addition to his wife and his daughter Becky, Mr. Bleifeld is survived by another daughter, Emily.

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