Figurative Tradition in Sculpture
The works assembled here from the permanent collection illustrate many of the concerns addressed by sculptors during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Developing out of the carver/craftsman tradition, sculptors in the early nineteenth century struggled with incorporating their home-spun approaches with the grand European tradition. For several generations, artists studied in Europe, interpreting classical subjects and forms for thier American audiences. Late in the century, a group of artists embraced popular American subjects and a more rigorous method of modeling and carving. The tenets of Modernism enlightened many in the United States, as European-trained artists immigrated from war-torn homelands. Thus abstraction became a viable means of expression. At the same time, contemporary artists continue to extend the figurative tradition in American sculpture.