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 Belle Marshall Kinney  (1890 - 1959)

About: Belle Marshall Kinney
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Tennessee      Known for: outdoor sculpture, monumental

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Belle Kinney Scholz is primarily known as Belle Marshall Kinney

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Biography from The Parthenon:
The following is from Marianne Bevil, then Historian at the Parthenon Museum:

Belle Marshall Kinney was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1890.  Kinney is best known for her bronze outdoor sculpture that adorns public parks in several states.  She was often inspired by classical sculpture, as were many monumental sculptors in the first half of the 20th century.  Perhaps her greatest achievement was the re-creation in Nashville, Tennessee of the pediment sculptures of the Parthenon, the pinnacle of classical sculpture.  In the early 1920s Kinney and her husband Leopold Scholz were hired to study and sculpt the pediment figures of the Parthenon for the full-scale replica of that ancient temple.  This replica of the Parthenon remains in Centennial Park in Nashville today.

Kinney displayed sculptural talent at a very early age.  At the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897 she was awarded a prize for a bust of her father, Captain Daniel C. Kinney.  At age 17, Kinney received her first professional commission.  She was hired to create an eight-foot bronze statue of Jere Baxter, the organizer of the Tennessee Central Railroad.  This statue has been moved from its original location, but still stands in Nashville in front of a public school named for Baxter.

Just before this commission Kinney won a scholarship to study sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago in the academic years 1905 and 1906.  While at the AIC, she studied under the famed American sculptor Lorado Taft.  At times, Taft's influence can be seen in her work of larger-than-life heroes of the past.  The bronzes created by Kinney are often monuments to the heroes of the Confederacy.  Perhaps her father's military career provided connections to win war-themed commissions.  Two wonderful examples of her war memorials stand very close to each other at Nashville's War Memorial Plaza.

In 1909 she was commissioned to build a monument to the women of the Confederacy. She was the only woman out of 80 submitting artists.  This commission promised not one monument to Confederate women, but ten, all from the same mold.  The United Confederate Veterans proposed to erect a monument in each southern state to the women of the Confederacy remembering "Our Mothers, Our Wives, Our Daughters, Our Sisters" on the inscription.  The location of only two of these statues is known today: Nashville and Jackson, Mississippi.

Just across the War Memorial Plaza from Monument to the Women of the Confederacy in Tennessee (1926) stands Kinney's monumental Victory (1929).  This nude classical warrior is an imposing 14 feet tall with Nike, goddess of victory, in his hand.  The architecture of War Memorial mimics the portico of the Parthenon and Victory stands tall inside the colonnade. Kinney and her husband, Leopold Scholz, collaborated on this statue as well as others.  Their dedication to public sculpture spans several decades.

Leopold Scholz moved to the United States from Hungary in 1916.  He married Belle Kinney in 1921 after they had studied and worked together for two years. Around the time of their marriage, the couple was hired to recreate the pediment sculptures of Nashville's Parthenon. Their plaster maquettes of the east and west pediment statues are on display in Nashville's Parthenon today.

Kinney died at 9:30 PM on August 28, 1959.  She literally worked right up to her death completing busts of James K. Polk and Andrew Jackson that morning.  Today, Kinney is remembered for her talent on a contemporary monument, ' "Tennessee Foxtrot Carousel" by Red Grooms. Kinney and Phidias, the famed ancient Greek sculptor, balance a pediment to form a carousel seat in a whimsical interpretation of Nashville's history.

The Parthenon Museum in Nashville owns 4 plaster maquettes attributed to Belle Kinney and sculptor-husband Leopold Scholz.  Only 2 are on exhibit. (These works need conservation work and are not available for loan or display. Their significance is that no other museum holdings are known at this time.)  All other known work is outdoor sculpture, including the exterior sculpture of the Parthenon.  The outdoor sculpture best represents her work.

Bibliography:
"Belle Kinney, Sculptor, Dies," New York Times, 28 August 1959, p. 23.

"Concerning the Southern Women's Monument," Confederate Veteran 17 August 1909: 371-372.

Kinney, Belle, entry in Dictionary of American Sculptors, Glenn Opitz, 1984.

"Mrs. Belle Kinney Scholz (obit)," Nashville Banner, 29 August 1959, n.p. (Metro Archives)

Smith, Elsie L. "Belle Kinney and the Confederate Women's Movement," Southern Quarterly, 32, no. 4, (1994): 2-31.

Smith, Suzanne Woolley. "The Tennessee Monument to the Women of the Confederacy: A Study In Conflicting Ideas of Public Commemoration and Collective Memory, 1895-1926," Border States: Journal of the Kentucky- Tennessee American Studies Association, no. 11, 1997.
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Following is a list of sculptures that the artist did in collaboration with her husband, Leopold Scholz:
Bust of Captain Kinney
BK
Plaster
1897
Destroyed?

Jerre Baxter
BK
Bronze/Granite
1907
Jere Baxter School, Nashville, TN (2nd loc.)

Bust of Gen. Alexander Peter Stewart
BK
Bronze/Stone
1911
Chattanooga,

TN, Courthouse Lawn

General Joseph E. Johnston
BK
Bronze/Granite
1912
Dalton, Georgia

Col. Richard Owen
BK
Bronze
1913
Indiana State Capitol, Indianapolis, IN

Monument to the Women of the Confederacy
BK
Bronze/Marble
1917
Jackson, MS

Maquettes of the Pediments of the Parthenon
BK/LS
Plaster
1922
The Parthenon, Nashville, TN

Pediments of the Parthenon
BK/LS
Concrete
1922-31
The Parthenon, Nashville, TN

Bust of Andrew Jackson
BK
Bronze
1924
Bronx Community College, NY

Bronx County War Memorial
BK
Bronze/Granite
1925
Pelham Bay Park and Shore Road, NY

TN Monument to the Women of the Confederacy
BK
Bronze/Granite
1926
War Memorial, Nashville, TN

Andrew Jackson
BK/LS
Bronze
1917
U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Washington, DC

Doors of the Parthenon
BK/LS
Bronze
1928-1929
The Parthenon, Nashville, TN

Victory
BK/LS
Bronze/Granite
1929
War Memorial, Nashville, TN
John Sevier
BK/LS
Bronze
1931
National Statuary Hall, Washington, DC

Maquette of Athena Parthenos
BK/LS
Plaster, Painted
1934
Parthenon Museum, Nashville, TN

The Mail Carrier
LS
Bronze
1936
USPO Chattanooga, TN

Adm. Albert Gleaves (bust)
BK
Bronze
1938
US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

Adm. Albert Gleaves (bust)
BK
Bronze
1939
U.S. Courthouse, Nashville, TN

Adm. James Farragut (bust)
BK
Date unknown ca. 1938
U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

The Unknown
LS
Bronze
USPO, Angola, NY

Crockett Memorial Bust
BK
1950
Gibson County, Trenton, TN

Cherokee Indian Chief John Ross
BK
Bronze/Stone
1958
Chattanooga, TN

Senator Edward Ward Carmack
BK
Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville, TN

Chattanooga Memorial Building
BK
n.d.

Timpani of the Memorial/Capital Annex
BK
n.d.

Dr. Park McCauley
BK
n.d.
McCauley School
Chattanooga, TN

Dr. Spence McCauley
BK
McCauley School
Chattanooga, TN

Robert McClellan
BK
Provident Life Building,
Chattanooga, TN

Bust of James K. Polk
BK
Bronze
1959
Tennessee State Capitol, Nashville, TN

Bust of Andrew Jackson
BK
Bronze
1959
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at registrar@AskART.com.


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