William Zorach

William Zorach (1889-1966)
1889 Born February 28, Eurburg, Lithuania.
1891 Immigrated to America with his mother and other children to join his father in Port Clinton, Ohio.
1894 Moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with his family. Entered public school.
1900 Left school to work at various factory jobs, but returned to school after a year.
1902 Graduated from grammar school; took job as errand boy with Morgan Lithograph Company.
1903-1906 Apprenticed to same firm to learn lithography. Studied nights at Cleveland School of Art.
1907-1909 Winter: in New York studying at National Academy of Design with A.M. Ward, George Maynard and others and about a month with George Bridgman at Art Students League. Summer: in Cleveland working for Otis Lithograph Company.
1910-1911 Studied in France, chiefly at La Palette with Jacques Emil Blanche and John Duncan Fergusson. Met Marguerite Thompson who also studied at La Palette. Second summer, sketched near Avignon, followed by brief trip to Switzerland and Germany. Paintings exhibited at Salon d'Automne, 1911.
1911-1912 Returned to Cleveland, worked for Otis Lithograph Company; first one-man exhibition of paintings at Taylor Galleries. Moved to New York in December, 1912, where he married Marguerite Thompson. The couple moved to an apartment on Sixth Avenue and 55th Street.
1913 Exhibited in Armory Show and at MacDowell Club. Moved to 123 West 10th Street in Greenwich Village. Summer: in Chappaqua this and the following year.
1915 Son Tessim born. Summer: in Randolph, New Hampshire.
1916 Showed work with other young modernists in Forum Exhibition. Summer: in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they produced and acted in a play with the Provincetown Players. Continued to work with them in New York until 1918.
1917 Daughter Dahlov born. Summer: at Echo Farm near Plainfield, New Hampshire, where he did his first wood carving.
1918 Summer: in Plainfield, New Hampshire.
1919 Summer: in Stonington, Maine.
1920 Summer: in California, painting in Yosemite Park. Began teaching children at City and Country School (continued at Walden School, Birch Wathen School and Rosemary Hall to 1935).
1921 Summer: returned to Provincetown (also in 1922 & 1923). Exhibited in Later Tendencies in Art exhibition at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
1922 Gave up oil painting for sculpture.
1924 Began spending summers on old farm at Robinhood, Maine, purchased the year before. Summers at Robinhood thereafter. First one-man exhibition of his sculpture at Kraushaar Galleries.
1929 Began teaching sculpture at Art Students League, where he continued to teach until 1960.
1930 Included in Paintings and Sculpture by Living Americans at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Also included in annual MoMA shows in 1934 and from 1939 to 1942.
1931 One-man exhibition at Downtown Gallery did much to establish his reputation. Mother and Child awarded Logan Prize at Art Institute of Chicago. Whitney Museum acquired three sculptures, his first to enter a public gallery.
1932 Spirit of the Dance, commissioned for Radio City Music Hall, rejected by "Roxy" as too nude, but eventually installed. Won Logan Prize for watercolor at Art Institute of Chicago. Included in group exhibition at the Whitney Museum, where he was also included in group shows from 1932 to 1981.
1932-1935 Lecturer on sculpture at Columbia University.
1936 Won two important competitions, Memorial to the Pioneer Woman in Texas and Memorial to Robert W. Speer in Denver, but both became involved in controversies and were not erected. At about this time bought and remodeled old carriage house at 276 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, where he lived and produced art.
1937 First public commission erected: Benjamin Franklin in Benjamin Franklin Post Office, Washington, DC. Active in founding the Sculptors Guild.
1939 Builders of the Future, sixteen-foot high plaster group, installed at New York World's Fair.
1945 One-man exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts.
1946 Summer: visiting artist at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. Continued the affiliation annually until his death in 1966.
1950 Retrospective exhibition at the Art Students League Gallery in New York to celebrate his 21st year of teaching at the League.
1952 Mother and Child purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
1953 Elected to National Institute of Arts and Letters.
1954 Mayo Clinic reliefs installed on new building at Rochester, Minnesota.
1956 January, Dallas County Patriotic Council attacked Zorach as a Communist sympathizer, demanded Dallas Museum withdraw his watercolor of fisherman from Sport in Art exhibition. Zorach denied charges and museum refused. February, Bank of the Southwest, Houston, Texas, cancelled commission for 30 x 32-foot aluminum relief which Zorach had nearly completed. May, Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio, Texas, held large exhibition of Zorach's sculpture in face of protests by American Legion.
1958 Commissioned by City of New York to design eighteen-foot limestone relief for Municipal Court Building on Center Street.
1959 Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
1966 Dies in Bath, Maine.


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