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  • Artist Profile Image - Cyrus E. Dallin
    Photo Courtesy of the Springville Museum of Art.

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Cyrus E. Dallin

Cyrus Dallin was born in Springville, Utah, in 1861. He was a sculptor that worked with clay. In 1943, at the age of 82, the artist died at his home in Arlington Heights, Massachusetts.

A the age of eighteen, Dallin went to Boston to begin his art studies. In 1888, he went to Paris, where he remained until 1890, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and at Academie Julien under Henri Chapu. He returned to America in 1890 and moved to Massachusetts. Dallin came back to Utah every now and then, as he did for the unveiling of his Moroni atop the Salt Lake Temple in 1892-93.

Dalin won a gold medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition for Sioux Chief, and at about the same time designed the model for a large Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors Monument , which won first prize in a 1906 competition. Another major Dallin work that he had started in the late teens and completed in 1921, is Massasoit, which overlooks Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. Another casting of the figure stands in front of the Utah State Capitol Building.

Biography adapted from Springville Museum of Art.

Cyrus Dallin was born in Springville, Utah, in 1861. His talent for modeling with clay was discovered while he was young. Friends later put money together and sent him to Boston in 1880 to train with the sculptor Truman A. Bartlett. He traveled to Paris in 1887 and studied at the Academie Julian. Successful in his studies in Paris, he was accepted into the Paris Salon where he won an honorable mention.

By 1900, Dallin was a teacher at the Massachusetts State Normal Art School, and the recipient of a contract for a monumental statue of Paul Revere to be placed in downtown Boston. He began his work on Paul Revere in 1883. A first through fifth model had been created during years of frustration, until the commission approved his final version in 1899. It took another 40 years to get the monument erected on the Paul Revere Mall near Old North Church in 1940. The Paul Revere statue, as well as those of Jane Dallin (1904), Scout (1910), and Appeal to the Great Spirit (life size at the Museum of Fine arts, Boston, 1912), are typical Dallin works of generalized dignity.

On a 1903 trip to his home town, Cyrus Dallin was invited to make an inspirational speech to the town's students; he agreed, and during the lecture, became sufficiently moved by the example his own success could provide that he offered to donate the plaster model for this fifth Paul Revere to the Springville schools.

Dallin came back to Utah every now and then, as he did for the unveiling of his Moroni atop the Salt Lake Temple in 1892-93. However, this former Utahn remained in the East, where he pursued a rather happy artist's life, riding on the crest of the popular vogue. He won a gold medal at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition for Sioux Chief, and at about the same time designed the model for a large Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors Monument , which won first prize in a 1906 competition.

Another major Dallin work that he had started in the late teens and completed in 1921, is Massasoit, which overlooks Plymouth Bay in Massachusetts. Another casting of the figure stands in front of the Utah State Capitol Building.

Dallin produced most of his work in the East, and in 1923 he received a master's degree from Tufts College, and in 1936 Boston University bestowed an honorary doctorate upon the "Old American Master." In 1943, at the age of 82, the artist died at his home in Arlington Heights, Massachusetts. The sculptor is often remembered for the words he spoke on his final trip west in 1942, "I have received two college degrees . . . besides medals galore, but my greatest honor of all is that I came from Utah."

Cyrus Dallin was born in Springville, Utah in 1861. Two circumstances of his early life in the western wilderness profoundly influenced him - the proximity of the little log cabin where he was born to the lofty Wasatch Mountains, and his familiarity with the Indians in their native haunts. The first awakened and fostered in him a love for sublimity of form; and the second furnished him with an unfailing source of material for his creative work.

A the age of eighteen, Dallin went to Boston to begin his art studies. In 1888, he went to Paris, where he remained until 1890, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and at Academie Julien under Henri Chapu. He returned to America in 1890 and moved to Massachusetts.

Cryus Dallin not only created statues of Native Americans, but he was also well know for his portrait statues. Among these are: Sir Isaac Newton for the Congressional Library in Washington D.C., General Hancock in Gettysburg, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. The principal monuments executed by Dallin are the Pioneer Monument in Salt Lake City, and the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Syracuse, New York.

Cryus Dallin has received many medals and honors both in America and in Europe. Among his many awards are a gold medal from the American Art Association of New York in 1888, a first class medal in 1893 from the Chicago Exposition, and a gold medal in 1904 at the St. Louis Exposition. In 1909 he received a gold medal from the Paris Salon, an honor which had then been conferred on only six American sculptors.

Biography courtesy Springville Museum of Art.

Newspaper Articles

"Arlington Reveres a Famous Sculptor Efforts of Town Barber Lead to Dallin Museum." Boston Globe, November 1, 1998.

"Ask The Globe." Boston Globe, September 26, 1987.

Books

Armstrong, Tom. 200 Years of American Sculpture. Boston, MA: D. R. Godine, 1976.

Baigell, Mathew. Dictionary of American Art. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.

Breton, Arthur J. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution: a Checklist of the Collection, Spring 1975. Washington, D.C.: The Archives, 1975.

Broder, Patricia Janis. Bronzes of the American West. New York, NY: H. N. Abrams, 1974.

Brown, Milton W. American Art to 1900: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture. New York, NY: H. N. Abrams, 1977.

Brown, Milton W. and Theresa C. Brakeley. American Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Decorative Arts, Photography. New York, NY: Abrams, 1979.

Clark, Eliot. History of the National Academy of Design, 1825-1953. New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 1954.

Craven, Wayne. American Art: History and Culture. New York, NY: H.N. Abrams, 1994.

Craven, Wayne. Sculpture in America. New York, NY: Crowell, 1984.

Southwest Art. The Master Index of Artists and Articles Published in Southwest Art: 1971 through 1993. Boulder, CO: Southwest Art, 1993.

Davenport, Ray. Davenport's Art Reference. Ventura, CA: Davenport's Art Reference, 2004.

Dunbier, Lonnie Pierson. ed. The Artists Bluebook: 29,000 North American Artists. Scottsdale, AZ: AskART.com, 2003.

Earle, Helen L. Biographical Sketches of American Artists. Lansing, MI: Michigan State library, 1972.

Eiteljorg, Harrison. Treasures of the American West: Selections from the Collection of Harrison Eiteljorg. New York, NY: Balance House, 1981.

Ekdahl, Janis. American Sculpture: a Guide to Information Sources. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Co., 1977.

Fairbanks, Jonathan L. Frontier America: the Far West. Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts, 1975.

Falk, Peter Hastings. The Annual Exhibition Record of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1888-1950. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1990.

Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975: 400 Years of Artists in America. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1999.

Falk, Peter Hastings. Who Was Who in American Art: Compiled from the Original Thirty-four Volumes of American Art Annual--Who's Who in Art, Biographies of American Artists Active from 1898-1947. Madison, CT: Sound View Press, 1985.

Fielding, Mantle, and Glenn B. Opitz. eds. Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers. 2nd Ed. Poughkeepsie, NY: 1986.

Foxley, William C. Frontier Spirit: Catalog of the Collection of the Museum of Western Art. Denver, CO: The Museum, 1983.

Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. The West explored: the Gerald Peters Collection of Western American Art. Santa Fe, NM: Gerald Peters Gallery, 1988.

Harmsen, Dorothy. American Western art: a Collection of One Hundred Twenty-five Western Paintings and Sculpture with Biographies of the Artists. Salt LakeCity, UT: Lakeside Press, 1977.

Hassrick, Peter H. Treasures of the Old West: Paintings and Sculpture from the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art. New York, NY: Abrams, 1984.

Hassrick, Peter H. The Way West: Art of Frontier America. New York, NY: Abrams, 1977.

Huntington, David C. The Quest for Unity: American Art Between World's Fairs, 1876-1893. Detroit, MI: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1983.

Karpel, Bernard and Ruth Spiegel. Arts in America: a Bibliography. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979.

Kloss, William and Doreen Bolger. Art in the White House: a Nation's Pride. Washington, DC: White House Historical Association in cooperation with the National Geographic Society, 1992.

Mallett, Daniel Trowbridge. Index of Artists, International-Biographical; Including Painters, Sculptors, Illustrators, Engravers and Etchers of the Past and the Present. New York, NY: Peregrine Smith, 1948.

McCann, Chris. Master Pieces: the Art History of Jigsaw Puzzles. Portland, OR: Collectors Press, 1998.

Myers, Fred. The Treasures of The Gilcrease. Tulsa, OK: T. Gilcrease Museum Association, 1979.

Nemerov, Alexander. Frederic Remington & Turn-of-the-Century America. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Olpin, Robert S, William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Opitz Glenn B, ed. Dictionary of American sculptors: "18th Century to the Present," Illustrated with over 200 Photographs. Poughkeepsie, NY: Apollo, 1984.

Rugoff, Milton. Encyclopedia of American Art. New York, Dutton, 1981.

Southwest Art. Southwest Art's Red Book Price Guide to Western American Art. Houston, TX: Cowles Enthusiast Media, 1997.

Smith, Todd D and James F. Dicke. American Art from the Dicke Collection. Dayton, OH: Dayton Art Institute, 1997.

Samuels, Peggy and Harold Samuels. The Illustrated Biographical Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1976.

Springville Museum of Art. Permanent Collection Catalog. Springville, UT: Springville Museum of Art, 1972.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie Rogers. 150 Years Survey of Utah Art, Utah Artists. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 2001.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Peregrine Smith Books, 1992.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1991.

Periodicals

Ahrens, Kent. "Cyrus E Dallin." American Art Review, August 1995.

Editors Art News," What's News." Art of the West, March 1995.

Swanson, Vern G. "150 Years of Utah Art." Southwest Art. January 2002.

 Last Modified 8/28/13