Taft, Lorado

Taft, Lorado

(lərā`dō), 1860–1936, American sculptor, lecturer, and writer on art, b. Elmwood, Ill., studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. In 1886 he became instructor at the Art Institute of Chicago, exerting a strong influence over the young sculptors of the West. Through his lectures and writings he spread a knowledge of art and aesthetics. After creating decorative sculptures for the Horticultural Building of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, he produced portrait work, military monuments, and groups such as Solitude of the Soul and The Blind (Art Inst., Chicago). Large memorials and fountains occupied his later years, among them the colossal Black Hawk overlooking Rock River, Ill.; the Washington monument, Seattle, Wash.; Columbus Memorial Fountain, Washington, D.C.; and Fountain of the Great Lakes and Fountain of Time, Chicago. His principal literary works are The History of American Sculpture (1903) and Recent Tendencies in Sculpture (1921).
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Taft, Lorado (Zadoc)

(1860–1936) sculptor, educator; born in Elmwood, Ill. A graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A. 1879; M.A. 1880) he studied at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris (1880–83), then taught sculpture at the Chicago Art Institute (1886–1906), where he introduced marble carving. His commissions came slowly and in 1903 he published History of American Sculpture, which led to lucrative lecture tours. In the 1910s he began sculpting a series of monumental fountains such as Columbus Fountain (1912) in Washington, D.C. An advocate for art education, he lectured high school students and created "Peep Shows" of sculptors at work for children. He continued creating large scale pieces until the end of his life.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.