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 Jane (Mortellito) Wasey  (1912 - 1992)

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Lived/Active: Maine/New York/Illinois / France      Known for: carved animal sculpture

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Jane (Mrs. Mortellito) Wasey
An example of work by Jane (Mortellito) Wasey
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Sculptor Jane Wasey, born in Chicago, Illinois in 1912, settled in Rockport, Maine where her 1978 popular stone sculpture of a harbor seal named Andre is displayed in Marine Park. Andre, abandoned at birth, and raised by human hands, became Rockport's honorary harbor master.

Wasey's sculpture is also part of the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Arizona State University, Tempe; University of Maine, Orono; Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire; and University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a member of the Audubon Artists, New York City, as well as the Sculptors Guild, New York City, since 1950.

Wasey studied with Heinz Warneke and John Flanagan; in Paris, France with Paul Landowski; and in New York City with Simon Moselsio. Her awards include several won in the year 1951: the National Association of Women Artists' Mrs. John Henry Hammond prize; Avery Memorial prize; Lighthouse prize; Parrish Art Museum, Long Island, New York, first prize in sculpture; the Guild Hall prize, won several years in succession from 1951 to 1957; and, in 1955, the Phillips Memorial prize of the Architectural League.

Some one-person exhibitions include four New York City venues: Montross Gallery, in 1934; Delphic Studio, 1935; Weathervanes Contemporaries, 1954; and Kraushaar Galleries, 1955, 1971, 1986. She also exhibited at the Philbrook Art Museum, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1945.

Many group exhibitions include five New York City locations: the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Brooklyn Museum; Sculptors Guild; and Audubon Artists; as well as the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, in Buffalo, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Colby College, Waterville, Maine; and Burlington Galleries, London, England.

Jules and Nancy Heller, North American Women Artists of the 20th Century

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Following is The New York Times obituary of the artist.

Jane Wasey, 80, Dies; A Sculptor of Animals
November 16, 1992

Jane Wasey, a sculptor known for her carvings of animals, died on Thursday at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Glen Cove, Me. She was 80 years old and lived in Lincolnville, Me.

Ms. Wasey died of cancer, said Priscilla Pattison, an artist and longtime friend.

Ms. Wasey's work in stone, wood and bronze has been exhibited in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, and at other museums in Maine and around the nation. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and of the William A. Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Me.

Ms. Wasey was born in Chicago and began her career at the age of 17 in Paris as the only female assistant to the sculptor Paul Landowski. She worked with him on Christ the Redeemer, the 98-foot statue on Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

Working in Manhattan most of her life, Ms. Wasey focused on animal sculptures, both formally figurative and abstract, carved mostly in stone and wood. In 1978, she completed an outdoor statue of a harbor seal that overlooks the harbor in Marine Park in Rockport, Me.

Kate Pennington, Maine Antique Digest

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