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Mahonri Young

Joe Knouche Builds A Stone Wall
Etching
8 X 12 inches ( plate size ) Image Only
Lower Right in Pencil
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Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Mahonri Young is best known as a sculptor and painter of religious subjects and in New York City for sculpture and paintings of of boxers and laboring people. In America he was one of the early sculptors of genre figures, that is everyday people going about their everyday lives. He introduced these social realist subjects in 1904, and this focus on non-lofty subjects has been perceived as a threat to the Beaux Arts style that had been prevalent because of the European academic training of the dominant sculptors such as Augustus Saint Gaudens. However, this new realism of Young's, inspired by his exposure to the French peasants in the paintings of Jean-Francois Millet, did not have wide-spread popularity until the 1930s.

Young was a grandson of Brigham Young, immigration leader of the Mormons to Utah, and as a boy he began sculpting with clay from the canal banks by his house.He returned to Paris in 1923 to work with well-known architect, Bertram Goodhue, on a monument for the American Pro Cathedral. Young liked Paris so well, that two years later he returned with his family to spend another two and one-half years. It was said that during this time, away from pressures of teaching at the Art Students League which he had done from 1916, his realistic style matured. Upon his return to New York, his exhibition at the Kraushaar Galleries in New York was reportedly one of the most successful shows of his career. He continued his teaching at the Art Students League through the Depression years and was increasingly fascinated by the energy of boxing matches and construction laborers, which he reflected in his sculpted energetic figures such as "The Factory Worker." In 1948, Young was elected to full membership of the National Academy of Design in New York and spent the remaining ten years of his life as a revered elder statesman of the arts. source : Harold & Peggy Samuels

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