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 Carl Paul Jennewein  (1890 - 1978)

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Lived/Active: New York/New Jersey / Italy/Germany      Known for: classical figure sculpture, medallic art

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Carl Paul Jennewein
from Auction House Records.
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Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Charleston Renaissance Gallery:
CARL PAUL JENNEWEIN (1890-1978)

Early in 1921, Carl Jennewein won the competition for a fountain commissioned to honor South Carolina-born lawyer Joseph Darlington.  He pursued the job--even though he was paid only for the cost of his material--in hopes that the sculpture's prominent placement in Washington's Judiciary Square would enhance his reputation.

When a controversy later arose over the nudity of the life-size female figure he designed as a symbol of justice, numerous ensuing newspaper articles provided him and the Darlington Memorial Foundation (1922) additional public attention.

Kunst Foundry in New York cast the fountain and four examples of the 2-foot model (without drapery), which was titled Nymph and Fawn. A second cast of the life-size group, made by Roman Bronze Works, was installed in 1940 at Brookgreen Gardens.

This essay is copyrighted by the Charleston Renaissance Gallery and may not be reproduced or transmitted without written permission from Hicklin Galleries, LLC.


Biography from The Columbus Museum of Art, Georgia:
Carl Jennewein was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1890, one of eight children of Emilia Weber and Louis Jennewein. (1)  The father was a die engraver and permitted Paul to watch him work, which soon led to the son developing a love of drawing, engraving and etching.  After it became apparent that traditional academics were not a path for the young artist to take, he was apprenticed to artisans at the Stuttgart art museum at age 13.  For the next three years, he learned techniques of casting, modeling, and painting.  He also took courses in art history and architectural drawing at the University of Stuttgart where he saw illustrations of work by the noted American architectural firm, McKim, Mead & White.

After moving to Hoboken, New Jersey—he became an U.S. citizen in 1915—Jennewein worked for the firm of architectural sculptors and commercial modelers, Buhler and Lauter, which was often used by McKim, Mead & White. Besides working for Buhler and Lauter, Jennewein was also taking night courses at the Art Students League, where he studied with George Bridgman and Dewitt Clinton Peters.(2)  By 1911, the ambitious Jennewein struck out on his own, receiving commissions for churches and academic institutions, and after receiving $500 for his work on the Woolworth Building, he had sufficient funds to travel back to Europe for two years.  In 1916, he won the prestigious Prix de Rome award for sculpture at the American Academy, which included a three-year fellowship in Italy to study classical art.  Much of his finest sculptures were created during this fertile period.  It was in Rome that he met a young painter and his future wife, Gina Perra.

When Jennewein returned to New York, he received several commissions, including the Caruso Panel for the Metropolitan Opera House.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art also purchased his work.  In 1933, Jennewein was elected to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Design and the influential Century Club.  Other memberships include the National Institute of Arts and Sciences. 

Later in his career, Jennewein designed numerous commemorative medals, for which he won many design awards. Jennewein used a number of foundries, including the American Art Foundry, Bedford Foundry (later Modern Art Foundry), Gargani Foundry, Gorham Company Founders, Kunst Foundry and Roman Bronze Artworks.  His most active gallery association was with Grand Central Galleries in Manhattan.  He died in Larchmont, New York in 1978.  In his will over 2000 works were bequeathed to the Tampa Museum of Art.

Among Jennewein’s best known works are: the main entrance of the British Empire Building at Rockefeller Center; four stone pylons for the 1939 World's Fair representing the Four Elements; two pylons, painted in the Egyptian style that flank the entrance to the Brooklyn Public Library; allegorical relief panels in the White House Executive Mansion; marble sculptures at the entrance to the Rayburn House of Representatives Office Building; and thirteen sculptures of Greek deity in the central pediment of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Besides Tampa, other museums that hold his work include Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Brookgreen Gardens, Montclair Art Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.  His work for the Philadelphia Museum of Art was awarded the Medal of Honor of the Architectural League.

Footnotes:
1. Janis Conner and Joel Rosenkrantz, Rediscoveries in American Sculpture, Studio Works, 1893-1939 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989), 79. Much of this material is taken from their entry on Jennewein. The Tampa Museum of Art provided additional material. Our gratitude is extended to Emily Kass, Director, and Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator of Contemporary Art, for their help.
2. Conner and Rosenkrantz, 80. 3. Ibid, 82.

Written and submitted by the staff of the Columbus Museum, Georgia

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