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Lawrence E. Butler

(b Bellefonte, PA, May 24, 1863; d New York, April 24, 1938).

American sculptor and collector. Son of a Presbyterian minister, Barnard grew up in the Midwest and began studying at the Chicago Academy of Design in 1880 under Douglas Volk (1856–1935) and David Richards (1829–97). Here he was first introduced to plaster casts of Michelangelo’s works and to the casts of Abraham Lincoln made by Leonard Volk (1828–95) in 1860, both clearly influential on his subsequent career. In 1883 he went to Paris, where he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and worked with Pierre-Jules Cavelier. Barnard’s sculptures are noted for their spiritual, allegorical, and mystical themes and were done in the expressive modelling style of the period.

Alfred Clark, wealthy heir to the Singer fortune, became Barnard’s patron in 1886. Through Clark and his Norwegian companion Lorentz Severin Skougaard, Barnard was introduced to Nordic themes. Clark commissioned important marble pieces including Boy (1884...