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Brown, Henry Kirke

BROWN, HENRY KIRKE (1814-1886), American sculptor, was born in Leyden, Massachusetts, on the 24th of February 1814. He began to paint portraits while quite a boy, studied painting in Boston under Chester Harding, learned a little about modelling, and in 1836-1839 spent his summers working as a railroad engineer to earn enough to enable him to study further. He spent four years (1842-1846) in Italy; but returning to New York he remained distinctively American, and was never dominated, as were so many of the early American sculptors, by Italian influence. He died on the 10th of July 1886 at Newburgh, New York. His equestrian statues are excellent, notably that of General Winfield Scott (1874) in Washington, D.C., and one of George Washington (1856) in Union Square, New York City, which was the second equestrian statue made in the United States, following by three years that of Andrew Jackson in Washington by Clark Mills (1815-1883). Brown was one of the first in America to cast his own bronzes. Among his other works are: Abraham Lincoln (Union Square, New York City); Nathanael Greene, George Clinton, Philip Kearny, and Richard Stockton (all in the National Statuary Hall, Capitol, Washington, D.C.); De Witt Clinton and "The Angel of the Resurrection," both in Greenwood cemetery, New York City; and an "Aboriginal Hunter."

His nephew and pupil, Henry Kirke Bush-Brown (b. 1857), also became prominent among American sculptors, his "Buffalo Hunt," equestrian statues of Generals Meade and Reynolds at Gettysburg, and "Justinian" in the New York appellate court-house, being his chief works.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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