1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Crawford, Thomas

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CRAWFORD, THOMAS (1814–1857), American sculptor, was born of Irish parents in New York on the 22nd of March 1814. He showed at an early age great taste for art, and learnt to draw and to carve in wood. In his nineteenth year he entered the studio of a firm of monumental sculptors in his native city; and in the summer of 1835 he went to Rome and became a pupil of Thorwaldsen. The first work which made him generally known as a man of genius was his group of “Orpheus entering Hades in Search of Eurydice,” executed in 1839. This was followed by other poetical sculptures, among which were the “Babes in the Wood,” “Flora,” “Hebe and Ganymede,” “Sappho,” “Vesta,” the “Dancers,” and the “Hunter.” Among his statues and busts are especially noteworthy the bust of Josiah Quincy, executed for Harvard University (now in the Boston Athenaeum), the equestrian statue of Washington at Richmond, Virginia, the statue of Beethoven in the Boston music hall, statues of Channing and Henry Clay, and the colossal figure of “Armed Liberty” for the Capitol at Washington. For this building he executed also the figures for the pediment and began the bas-reliefs for the bronze doors, which were afterwards completed by W. H. Rinehart. The groups of the pediment symbolize the progress of civilization in America. Crawford’s works include a large number of bas-reliefs of Scriptural subjects taken from both the Old and the New Testaments. He made Rome his home, but he visited several times his native land—first in 1844 (in which year he married Louisa Ward), next in 1849, and lastly in 1856. He died in London on the 10th of October 1857.

See Das Lincoln Monument, eine Rede des Senator Charles Sumner, to which are appended the biographies of several sculptors, including that of Thomas Crawford (Frankfort a. M., 1868); Thomas Hicks, Eulogy on Thomas Crawford (New York, 1865).