William Wetmore Story Quotes

  • Sculptor
  • USA
  • 1819

William Wetmore Story (1819-1895) was an American sculptor, poet, and art critic. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts and studied at Harvard University before pursuing a career in law. However, his true passion was art and he eventually moved to Rome, Italy to study sculpture.Story’s most nota…Read More

William Wetmore Story (1819-1895) was an American sculptor, poet, and art critic. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts and studied at Harvard University before pursuing a career in law. However, his true passion was art and he eventually moved to Rome, Italy to study sculpture.Story’s most notable works include the “Angel of Grief” monument, which was inspired by the death of his wife and became a popular symbol of mourning in the late 19th century. He also created numerous sculptures of historical figures, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.Aside from his sculpting career, Story was also a prolific writer and published several volumes of poetry and art criticism. He was a member of the literary group known as the “Coterie” and was friends with many prominent writers and artists of his time, including Robert Browning and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.Story’s legacy continues to be celebrated today, with many of his sculptures on display in museums and public spaces around the world. He is remembered as a talented artist and influential figure in the American art world of the 19th century.Read Less

William Wetmore Story (1819-1895) was an American sculptor, poet, and art critic. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts and studied at Harvard University before pursuing a career in law. However, his true passion was art and he eventually moved to Rome, Italy to study sculpture.Story’s most notable works include the “Angel of Grief” monument, which was inspired by the death of his wife and became a popular symbol of mourning in the late 19th century. He also created numerous sculptures of historical figures, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.Aside from his sculpting career, Story was also a prolific writer and published several volumes of poetry and art criticism. He was a member of the literary group known as the “Coterie” and was friends with many prominent writers and artists of his time, including Robert Browning and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.Story’s legacy continues to be celebrated today, with many of his sculptures on display in museums and public spaces around the world. He is remembered as a talented artist and influential figure in the American art world of the 19th century.

William Wetmore Story Career Highlights

  • Story’s career as a sculptor began in Rome, where he moved in 1856 and spent the rest of his life. He quickly gained recognition for his neoclassical style and was commissioned to create several public monuments, including the statue of Joseph Henry in Washington D.C. and the statue of George Peabody in London.
  • In addition to his public works, Story also created numerous private sculptures, including portraits of notable figures such as Robert Browning and Charles Sumner.
  • Story’s most famous work is arguably the “Angel of Grief” sculpture, which he created as a memorial for his wife who passed away in 1894. The sculpture has been replicated and displayed in various locations around the world, including the Protestant Cemetery in Rome where Story and his wife are buried.
  • Story was also a successful poet, publishing several collections of his work throughout his career. He was known for his romantic and melancholic style, often drawing inspiration from his own personal experiences.

Key Contributions by William Wetmore Story

  • Story’s contributions to the world of sculpture were significant, as he helped revive the neoclassical style during a time when romanticism was dominant. His works were highly praised for their technical skill and emotional depth.
  • As a lawyer, Story was a strong advocate for copyright laws and fought for the protection of artists’ rights. He also served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Claims, where he made important decisions regarding copyright infringement cases.
  • Story’s poetry was also highly regarded, with many critics comparing him to the likes of Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. His poems often explored themes of love, loss, and mortality, and were praised for their lyrical quality and emotional resonance.

What Sets William Wetmore Story Apart

  • One of the most notable aspects of Story’s career is his ability to excel in multiple fields. He was not only a successful sculptor, but also a respected lawyer and poet. This versatility and talent set him apart from his contemporaries and solidified his place in history as a Renaissance man.
  • Story’s dedication to his craft and his unwavering pursuit of perfection also set him apart. He spent countless hours perfecting his sculptures and was known to be a perfectionist, often destroying and starting over if he was not satisfied with his work.
  • Story’s personal life also sets him apart, as he experienced great tragedy with the loss of his wife and two of his children. This deeply affected his work and added a layer of emotion and depth to his sculptures and poetry.

Takeaways

  • William Wetmore Story’s career highlights the importance of pursuing one’s passions and not being afraid to take risks. Despite having a successful law career, he followed his heart and became a renowned sculptor.
  • His contributions to the world of art and law showcase the impact that one person can have on society. His dedication to protecting artists’ rights and his artistic achievements continue to inspire and influence others.
  • Story’s ability to excel in multiple fields serves as a reminder that one’s talents and passions are not limited to one area. With hard work and dedication, one can achieve success in various areas and leave a lasting impact on the world.
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