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 Leo Friedlander  (1890 - 1966)

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Lived/Active: New York/District Of Columbia      Known for: large scale public sculpture-heroic themes

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Ad Code: 3
Leo Friedlander
from Auction House Records.
Mother with Child
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
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 Rome.
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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