Charles Cary Rumsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Charles Cary Rumsey
Rumsey, Charles, Mary, children.jpg
Charles, Mary Averell, Mary, Charles Jr., c.1919
Born August 29, 1879
Buffalo, New York, United States
Died September 21, 1922(1922-09-21) (aged 43)
Floral Park, New York, United States
Cause of death
Automobile accident
Resting place
Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo
Residence Wheatley Hills, Long Island, New York
Education Harvard University, Boston Art School, École des Beaux-Arts
Occupation Sculptor, Polo player
Known for Figurative art
Political party
Religion Episcopalian
Spouse(s) Mary Harriman
Children 1) Charles Cary Harriman (b. 1911)
2) Mary Averell (b. 1913)
3) Bronson Harriman (1917–1939)
Parents Laurence Dana Rumsey & Jennie Cary
Relatives Brother: Laurence Dana Rumsey, Jr.
Brother-in-law: W. Averell Harriman

Charles Cary Rumsey (August 29, 1879 – September 21, 1922) was an American sculptor and an eight goal polo player.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Charles Rumsey was the son of Laurence Dana Rumsey, a successful local businessman. His mother, Jennie Cary Rumsey, was the sister of sculptor, Seward Cary. Young Charles learned to play polo at a young age from his uncle and friend, Devereux Millburn.

Education and art career[edit]

Charles Rumsey, who was known to his family & friends as Pad, graduated from Harvard University and studied art at the Boston Art School before going to Paris, France, in 1902 to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. While still a student at Harvard, he exhibited a sculpture of an Indian at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901.

He worked mainly in bronze. His passion for horses saw him create statues of the Thoroughbred horses Hamburg and Burgomaster for Harry Payne Whitney, Good and Plenty for Thomas Hitchcock, and World Champion trotter Nancy Hanks[1] for John E. Madden.

When Rumsey returned from Paris in 1906, he established himself in an art studio on 59th Street in New York City. He soon thereafter began sculptures for the massive house being built by architects Carrère and Hastings for the railroad magnate E.H. Harriman, called Arden; he did a fireplace surround and other sculptural decorations for the music room there, as well as the "Three Graces Fountain."[2] During this time he courted Harriman's daughter, Mary Harriman; they both shared a love of horses and had first met at the Meadow Brook Steeplechase Association races on Long Island. They married in 1910, much to the surprise of New York society.[3] They maintained a home in Brookville, New York on Long Island, where they raised three children.

Among Rumsey's other works, he did a statue of Francisco Pizarro erected in Trujillo, Spain, the Brownsville War Memorial in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a copy of the "Three Graces Fountain" from Arden House installed in Mirror Lake at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo (where Rumsey is buried), and the controversial figure of a nude woman called "The Pagan."[4] Perhaps his most celebrated work is the 1916 frieze on Carrère and Hastings' Manhattan Bridge in New York City, titled "Buffalo Hunt."

Brownsville War Memorial

During World War I, Charles Rumsey served as a Captain with Headquarters Troop, 77th Infantry Division and Fortieth Engineers, United States Army Corps of Engineers. His brother, Laurence Dana Rumsey, Jr. (1885–1967), was a pilot in the War with the famous Lafayette Escadrille and Lafayette Flying Corps.

On September 21, 1922, Charles Rumsey was a passenger in an automobile that crashed into a stone bridge abutment on the Jericho Turnpike near Floral Park on Long Island. He was thrown from the vehicle and died minutes later from his injuries.[5]


  1. ^ "Nancy Hanks", The Lewiston Daily Sun, October 1, 1915
  2. ^ Ossman, Laurie; Ewing, Heather (2011). Carrère and Hastings, The Masterworks. Rizzoli USA. ISBN 9780847835645.
  3. ^ "A Young Sculptor Wins E.H. Harriman's Daughter," New York Times 1910 article
  4. ^ "Nude Figure Wins After Court Move", New York Times, March 22, 1921
  5. ^ "Charles C. Rumsey Dies in Auto Crash on Jericho Turnpike", New York Times, September 22, 1922

External links[edit]