Henry Hering was an American sculptor who was born New York City on February 15, 1874 and died there on January 17, 1949.
Following his return from Paris Hering worked as an assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens until Saint-Gaudens' death in 1907. In 1910 Hering married another long time Saint-Gaudens' assistant, Elsie Ward, who gave up her independent career as a sculptor, to serve as her husband's assistant.
Henry Hering is well known for his work as an architectural sculptor. Although a few of his later works are Art Deco in style, notably the Severance Hall decorations and the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge, most of his work consists of allegorical figures in the Beaux-Arts tradition. His reputation as a sculptor decreased as International Modernism dispensed with architectural, figurative and allegorical work. As with many other such artists Hering's oeuvre is now being reexamined in a more positive light. In 1928 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1937.
Hering is further remembered in relation to the unfortunate crash of an American B-25 military airplane into New York City's Empire State Building on July 28, 1945. The largest sections of the plane remained lodged in the building, or fell directly to the streets below. However, one engine ripped from its wing and traveled some distance away, regrettably landing in Hering's top floor penthouse studio, located in a building near the crash. At the time, newspaper coverage of the accident reported that, although the artist was not in his studio at the time, about $75,000 worth of his work was destroyed.
The National Sculpture Society gives out the Henry Hering Award for noteworthy collaboration between sculptor and architect.
Notable public works
- Energy in Repose, Federal Reserve Bank, Cleveland, Ohio, 1923
- Defense and Regeneration, on the southern bridgehouses of Michigan Avenue Bridge, Chicago, Illinois, 1928
- Pro Patria Indiana War Memorial, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1929, Walker & Weeks. architects. This male nude was the largest bronze statue to have been cast in America at that time. A lively interest in Hering's work still exists, a version standing 33½" high was auctioned late in 2007 for $9,000.
- Pere Marquette, Marquette Park, Gary, Indiana, 1932
- Abraham Lincoln, University Park, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1934
- Peace, Peace Gardens, Cleveland, Ohio, 1936
- "Defense (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- "Regeneration (sculpture)". Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
- "Henry Hering". Fine Art May 2007. Rago Arts and Auction Center.
- Bach, Ira, editor, Chicago's Famous Buildings, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, 1980
- Johannesen, Eric, A Cleveland Legacy: The Architecture of Walker and Weeks, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, 1999
- Kvaran and Lockley, A Guide to Architectural Sculpture in America, unpublished manuscript
- National Sculpture Society, Contemporary American Sculpture 1929, National Sculpture Society, New York, NY 1929
- Opitz, Glenn B, Editor, Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Apollo Book, Poughkeepsie NY, 1986
- Proske, Beatrice Gilman, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, 1968
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