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 Alexander Sangernebo  (1856 - 1930)

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Lived/Active: Indiana / Russian Federation      Known for: terra-cotta sculpture, decoration, figurative work

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Estonia, Russia, Alexander Sangernebo left that country for the United States in the early 1880s and first lived in St. Louis before settling in Indiana where he became chief sculptor of the Indianapolis Terra Cotta Company in Brightwood.  He lived two miles north at Monument Circle. 

In 1898, he opened a studio in his home and had a strong clientele for figural work and public and private building motifs.  A century later, he would be described as a "master terra-cotta designer and sculptor" who created "most of the architectural terra cotta ornamentation, along with several examples of applied sculpture in stone in Indianapolis before 1930." (Newton 116)

In January, 1899, he married Emma Eyles of Pittsburgh, a portrait painter whom he had met when she was visiting art shows in Indianapolis.  The couple had two daughters, Vera and Marie.  Later those daughters recalled a magical childhood with a totally art-oriented home.

From 1912 to 1915, Alexander taught decorative modeling at the Herron Institute.  He was also active in the Indiana Art Club, and a member of the Indianapolis Atheneum.  Into the 1920s, his commissions began dwindling, so the couple moved from their home in Brightwood, which had been his place originally, to an apartment in Indianapolis.  Emma picked up much of the financial slack with the success of her portraits, which she painted from a studio on East Market Place formerly occupied by Wayman Adams.

Alexander Sangernebo died at home in late January, 1930.

His work is represented in Indianapolis at the Blind Institute, Union Station, Lincoln Hotel, St. Joan of Arc Church and the Indiana National Guard.

Sources include:
Judith Vale Newton and Carol Ann Weiss, Skirting the Issue: Stories of Indiana's Historical Women Artists
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

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