French sculpture, an American passion
Co-published by Snoeck and INHA
French sculptures can be found all over the United States, from museum collections to art deco skyscraper façades. They exist in a great variety of styles ranging from neoclassicism to Gilded Age eclecticism and the twentieth-century avant-garde. What can they tell us about the relations between our two lands? The first milestone in this story was laid down in 1792 when celebrated French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon sculpted General Washington, the founder of American democracy. Nearly a century later, The Statue of Liberty became one of the country's foremost symbols. Retracing the histories of these works, which number over 15,000 at latest estimated, we embark upon a journey across the United States with a fresh perspective. We discover public monuments, with their sometimes-controversial symbolism, and the stories of the women and men who shaped the American artistic landscape. We meet the Founding Fathers, the manufacturers, who drove the nation's economic growth, the foundrymen who handed their techniques down over the generations and the collectors behind the first museums, as well as artists such as August Rodin (the most highly regarded of all French sculptors), Constantin Brancusi, and Marcel Duchamp.