1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Volk, Leonard Wells

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Volk, Leonard Wells (1828–1895), American sculptor, was born at Wellstown (now Wells), Hamilton county, New York, on the 7th of November 1828. He first followed the trade of a marble cutter with his father at Pittsfield, Massachusetts. In 1848 he opened a studio at St Louis, Missouri, and in 1855 was sent by his wife’s cousin, Stephen A. Douglas, to Rome to study. Returning to America in 1857, he settled in Chicago, where he helped to establish an Academy of Design and was for eight years its head. Among his principal works are the Douglas monument at Chicago and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monument at Rochester, New York, and statues of President Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas (in the Illinois State Capitol at Springfield, Ill.), and of General James Shields (in Statuary Hall, Capitol, Washington), Elihu B. Washburn, Zachariah Chandler and David Davis. In 1860 he made a life-mask (now in the National Museum, Washington) of Lincoln, of whom only one other, by Clark Mills in 1865, was ever made. His son, Douglas Volk (b. 1856), figure and portrait painter, who studied under J. L. Gérôme in Paris, became a member of the Society of American Artists in 1880 and of the National Academy of Design in 1899.