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Roberta K. Tarbell

(b Concarneau, June 29, 1890; d Cape Neddick, nr. Ogunquit, ME, April 20, 1970).

American sculptor and teacher of French birth. In 1901, the painter, writer, critic, gallery proprietor and publisher Hamilton Easter Field (1873–1922) brought Laurent to New York as his protégé and sponsored Laurent’s study of avant-garde art in Paris and Rome from 1905 to 1909. Laurent was intrigued by African art which he saw in Picasso’s studio, Cézanne’s paintings and the sculptures of Gauguin and Maillol. Except for a few painting lessons with Cubist Frank Burty Haviland (1886–1971), brother of Paul B. Haviland (associate editor of Camera Work), and American modernist Maurice Sterne, Laurent had little formal training. Field and Laurent founded a modern art school in Ogunquit, ME (1910), where Laurent taught each summer for the rest of his life. Field, Laurent and Marsden Hartley were among the first to collect folk art in Maine.

Laurent’s pioneering directly-carved wood sculptures include the primitivist relief ...