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A.A. Weinman
(1870-1952)
 Collection:  American Collection
 Specialty:  Sculpture
   Born in Germany, Adolph Alexander Weinman immigrated to the United States
   with his mother when he was ten. At 15, he was apprenticed to carver
   Frederick Kaldenberg, who worked primarily in wood and ivory. His evenings
   were spent studying drawing and modeling at Cooper Union. Later, Weinman
   studied at the Art Students League where he was instructed by the premiere
   American sculptor at that time, Augustus Saint-Gaudens.

   During his early career, Weinman worked in the studios of a number of
   significant sculptors including Saint-Gaudens, Philip Martiny, Olin Warner
   (with whom he worked on the bronze doors for the Library of Congress),
   Charles Niehaus, and Daniel Chester French. In 1904, he was successful
   enough to open his own studio, just in time to produce the majestic
   sculpture, Destiny of the Red Man, located in our gardens, which
   brought him his first national recognition as an independent artist.

   Weinman was especially interested in medallic art and began producing
   small, exquisitely wrought portrait reliefs, medals, and coins. Many of
   you may own your own Weinmans: he is most famous for designing the
   "Mercury" dime and the "Walking Liberty" half dollar coins. Monuments were
   particularly in vogue during the late nineteenth century, and Weinman
   became one of the premier sculptors in this field. His works including two
   statues of Abraham Lincoln, one at Hodgenville, Kentucky (Lincoln's
   birthplace) and the other for the rotunda of the State Capitol at
   Frankfort. Other memorials designed by Weinman include the General
   Alexander Macomb Monument in Detroit, the memorial to Colonel William F.
   Vilas in Vicksburg National Military Park, the Maryland Union Soldiers and
   Sailors Monument, and the Spencer Memorial in Rock Creek Cemetary in
   Washington, D.C.

   Among his other sculptures were both portrait statues and more speculative
   dramatic works. His portrait works include those of Governor W.W.
   Claiborne in the Louisiana State Capitol, Alexander J. Cassatt (brother of
   the famous painter Mary Cassatt) and Samuel Rea for the Pennsylvania
   Railroad Terminal, and Governor DeWitt Clinton and Alexander Hamilton for
   the Museum of the City of New York. Among his dramatic works are
   Fountain of the Water Centaurs, located on the grounds of the
   Missouri State Capitol, Riders of the Dawn, a fountain piece at
   Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, and the well-known pieces Rising
   Sun, Descending Night  (both on view at the Gallery), Duet,
   Narcissus, and Aphrodite.

   For all his diversity, however, Weinman thought of himself as primarily an
   architectural sculptor and was the favored sculptor for the preeminent New
   York architectural firm of the early twentieth century, McKim, Mead and
   White.. He designed freizes and ornamentation for a number of major public
   buildings, including the Jefferson Memorial, and also designed the fac,ade
   of the New York Municipal Building. Of all his major architectural work,
   the most famous was the artwork he did for the old Pennsylvania Railway
   Station. Old Penn Station was one of the premier attractions of New York
   for decades, but was unfortunately demolished for a new station in 1966, a
   heresy contributing to the establishment of the National Registry of
   Historic Places.

   Weinman won many awards during his life, including the Fine Arts Medal of
   the American Institute of Architects (1930), the Honorary Presidency and
   Medal of Honor of the National Sculpture Society (1948), and Gold Medal
   from the Architectural League of New York (1913), Pennsylvania Academy of
   Fine Arts (1924), and the National Academy of Design (1945). He also
   served as president of the National Sculpture Society from 1928 to 1931,
   and was a member of the New York City Art Commission from 1924 to 1928,
   and the National Commission of Fine Arts from 1928 to 1932. In 1911, he
   was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design, and was later
   a member of the American Numismatic Society and the American Academy of
   Arts and Letters. A.A. Weinman died at Port Chester, New York, on August
   8, 1952 after an outstanding career bringing honor to himself and his
   adopted country.

   Everl Adair, Director of Research and Rare Collections

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