William Zorach (Lithuanian, 1889-1966) 

Zorach was a master sculptor whose family settled in Ohio. After apprenticing with a lithographer to support his family, he moved to Paris and made paintings that incorporated Matisse’s Fauvism and Picasso’s Cubism. Here, he met his future wife, Marguerite, a fellow modernist painter. As a sculptor, he was a proponent and instructor of the direct carving method, a process which does not involve clay models. Carving into the wood with a jackknife, Zorach created stylized representations of the figure. Zorach’s work is known for subjects drawn from his close friends, pets, and family, such his young daughter Dahlov Ipcar who also became a celebrated artist.

Zorach studied at the Cleveland School of Art and at the National Academy of Design, New York. He taught at the Art Students League in New York City for over three decades. Zorach’s work resides in various collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; Museum of Fine Art, Boston; and the Art Institute of Chicago. Some of his works are permanently installed, such as Spirit of Dance at Radio City Music Hall in New York and Spirit of the Sea in Library Square Park in Bath, Maine. Zorach received the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the National Institute and American Academy of Art and Letters.