Rush, William

Rush, William,

1756–1833, American sculptor, one of the earliest in the country, b. Philadelphia. His wood carvings, clay models, and figureheads were famous in their day. Of his other works, carved in wood, the statue of George Washington is in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and a bronze replica of his graceful Spirit of the Schuylkill (1812) is in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Thomas Eakins painted Rush at work on this figure (1877; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). Rush was a leader in founding the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which owns many of his works including a plaster cast of a vigorous self-portrait. He also did portraits of Joseph Wright, Samuel Morris, Washington, Lafayette, and others. The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains some of his sprightly allegorical figures, among them Comedy and Tragedy.

Bibliography

See catalog by H. Marceau (1937).

Rush, William

(1756–1833) sculptor, woodcarver; born in Philadelphia. Remaining in Philadelphia, he was apprenticed as a ship figurehead carver (1771); setting up his own wood carving shop, he then became a sculptor and produced wood portraits and public works, such as Water Nymph and Bittern (1854), a bronze cast from the wood original (1809). He was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1805) and is considered one of the first American-born sculptors.
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