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date: 15 October 2019

Scudder, Janet locked

(b Terre Haute, IN, Oct 27, 1873; d Rockport, MA, June 9, 1940).
  • Jennifer Wingate

Extract

(b Terre Haute, IN, Oct 27, 1873; d Rockport, MA, June 9, 1940).

American sculptor, active also in France. Scudder developed a lively style influenced by antique and Renaissance statuary as well as by the animated figurative work of Frederick William MacMonnies . The carefree spirit of her sculpture suited the tastes of wealthy Americans who ordered her bronzes for the grounds of their country estates, and her fountains helped garden sculpture achieve a new level of prestige. She had one of the most successful careers of any woman artist of the early 20th century.

A student of modest means, Scudder learned the practical trade of wood carving at the Cincinnati Academy of Art and briefly carved decorations for a Chicago furniture factory. Her first breakthrough came when Lorado Taft hired her as an assistant at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. Her experience as one of Taft’s “White Rabbits” (as Taft’s female sculpture assistants at the fair were known), gave her the training and financial means to travel to Paris where she secured a coveted position in MacMonnies’s studio. She bought a house at Ville d’Avrya outside of Paris in ...

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