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 William W. Walcutt  (1819 - 1882)

About: William W. Walcutt
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Ohio      Known for: sculptor-portrait, genre, history

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Ad Code: 3
William W Walcutt
from Auction House Records.
Musadora
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from David Walcutt of Arlington, Virginia:

William Walcutt was born April 28, 1819 at Columbus, Ohio and died on April 22, 1882 at 446 West 57th Street in New York City. On September 10, 1860, a statue he designed of commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was dedicated at Cleveland, Ohio. The commemorative booklet about the event by the Cleveland City Council includes the following biographical information:

"He studied surveying and engineering under a private tutor, and spent several years in pursuing a regular course of studies at Granville College [probably a church-run-secondary school]. Impatient of restraint, he began his career as a painter of portraits at the age of sixteen. . . But his father had marked for him a different course, and secured for him a warrant to enter the military school at West Point as a Cadet. Young Walcutt was not inclined to accept the position, and much preferred to go to New York and perfect himself in his favorite studies. The father reluctantly yielded to the solicitations of his son - accompanied him to New York - gave him fifty dollars - and bestowed on him at parting, a father's blessing.

"Soon after his arrival in New York, the young enthusiast entered the "Antique School," so called, being then in his eighteenth year, and he pursued his artistic studies as a pupil for nearly four years. . . subsequently he returned to Ohio, where he remained for the next five years. . . He then visited Washington, where he sojoured a short time, but still preferring New Yorks as affording a wider field for the exercise of his talents, he returned to that City. In 1852 he visited London, studied art for sometime in that city, and then went to Paris where he remained for two years pursuing his favorite studies in the celebrated "Life School" of Mr. Yvon and in the "Imperial School of Sculpture" established by the French government.

He married Agnes Leeds in New York on November 28, 1854. The ceremony was performed by her step father, the Reverend Samuel D. Burchard of the Thirteenth Street Presbyterian Church." She died in 1875."

Following that, he returned to England and then coming back to New York, he established a studio there for the remaining forty years of his career. He completed numerous portrait busts in marble of prominent individuals. A major commission came from Cleveland, Ohio, and the subject was Oliver Hazard Perry, considered the hero of Lake Erie.

This life-like statue, dedicated in 1860, received much acclaim. An article, September 15, 1860 in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper stated: "The designer of the Perry monument, W. Walcutt, is well-known to a large circle of our citizens. How or when he discovered the true bent of his genius we do not know, but within a year or two we hear the world busy with his name as a sculptor of high and original merit. The monument to Perry, as it appears in our illustration, fully justifies the encomiums which have been lavished upon it as a work of art."

He was also a writer of poetry and prose, and during President Ulysses Grant's administration, was appointed Art Appraiser in the custom-house, a post he retained until his death.

Of his style, it was written that it was influenced by classicism but very much American.
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Note by David Walcutt:
I guess he was both an Ohio artist and a New York artist. It is almost as if he
lead two separate lives: you get two versions of the same works in both places. Mostly he was a painter, especially of portraits, because that's where the money was. After getting married he worked at the US Customs House in Manhattan as an art appraiser. It paid the bills. All his studios were in Manhattan. Yet, he is still considered an Ohio artist.


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