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MacMonnies, Frederick William
Frederick William MacMonnies (1863-1937)
Birth Place Brooklyn, New York
Death Place New York, New York
Born 1863
Died 1937
General Notes Frederick MacMonnies was born in Brooklyn, New York, and had many important commissions in the United States, but he lived and worked in France for much of his career. He became a studio assistant to the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in New York City when he was only eighteen. In 1884 he went to Paris with the intention of studying painting; instead, he enrolled in the sculpture classes of Jean-Alexandre-Joseph Falguière (1831-1900) at the École des Beaux-Arts and eventually became his teacher's assistant. Having assimilated Falguière's modeling style, he created works for his American patrons that epitomized the fashionable French taste for naturalism. In 1893 he produced the monumental Triumph of Columbia, the sculptural centerpiece of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and with that his reputation soared. He completed several important public works, including the bronze Nathan Hale for City Hall Park in New York, dedicated in 1893. In 1905 he returned to France, this time to Giverny, where he opened a school and became a popular member of the vital local American artists' colony. He returned home to New York a decade later, focusing increasingly on painting until his death from pneumonia in 1937.
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