|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Leo Friedlander was born in New York City on July 6, 1888. At the
age of 12, he exhibited at the Art Students League a series of
portraits and life sketches that were considered remarkable for a
person his age. At 14, he became a modeller's apprentice at Klee
Brothers ornamental shop, where for the next six years he did
ornamental modelling for the interiors of the St. Regis Hotel, B.
Altman's, Gorham's and the Bank of Montreal.|
In 1908, he went abroad for three years, where he studied art and
anatomy at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Brussells and Paris. In
1912, he was awarded, in competition, his first sculptural commission
by Paul Cret; the sculptured spandrels for the National Memorial Arch
in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. In 1913, he won the Prix de Rome
and spent the next three years as a fellow of the American Academy in
In the 1920's came recognition as one of America's foremost
sculptors. In this period he produced a prolific amount of
ecclesiastic sculptures for Goodhue Associates. He did the eight
metopes for the Lee-Higginson Bank (later Bank of America) in New
York. He also designed the city seal for the Museum of the City
of New York. In 1929 he was awarded in competition the commission
for the two colossal equestrian groups, Valor and Sacrifice for the Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington D.C.
In the 1930's he won a number of important sculptural commissions by
competitive award. These included the George Eastman Memorial in
Rochester, New York; the Lewis and Clark and Covered Wagon Groups for the Oregon State capitol; the Pioneer Woman of Texas; and the statue of Roger Williams on
Columbia Terrace, Providence, R.I. In this decade, he also
completed the four huge relief panels for the RCA Building in
Rockefeller Center, the pylons for the Hall of Social Science at the
"Century of Progress Exposition" in Chicago; and the Four Freedoms for the New York Worlds Fair in 1939.
In 1936 Leo Friedlander was appointed a professor in the School of Architecture at New York University.
During the next 25 years, he was awarded the commission to design the figure of Memory for the Virginia World War II and Korean War Memorial; the statue of Thomas Jefferson
at the state office building in Richmond; the sculptured clock over the
speaker's rostrum in the House of Representatives Chamber at the United
States Capitol; the figure of Christ for the Wesley Theologicl
Seminary, Washington; and many others.
In addition to the Prix de Rome, his awards included: the Helen Foster
Barnett Prize; the Silver Medal, Philadelphia Sesquicentennial
Exposition, 1926; the Gold Medal of the Architectural League of New
York, 1933; The Medal of Honor from the National Sculpture Society in
1951; the Henry Hering Memorial Medal in 1963.
He was a vice president of the Architectural League and an Academician
in the National Academy of Design, a member of the National Institute
of Arts and Letters, and an honorary member of the Catholic Art
Society. He served as president of the National Sculpture Society
from 1954 to 1957.
Leo Friedlander died in White Plains, N.Y. on October 24, 1966.
Written and submitted December 2005 by Peter Bissell, Cooperstown, New York. His source is the National Sculpture Review, winter 1968-1969
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