Enrique Alférez

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Enrique Alférez
BornMay 4, 1901
DiedSeptember 14, 1999
Alma materSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago
StyleArt Deco
ChildrenTlaloc S. Alférez

Enrique Alférez was a Mexican-American artist who specialized in sculpting architectural reliefs and the human form.

Born in a rural village in northern Mexico, Alférez was introduced to sculpture by his father, a woodworker who was trained . He ran away at age 12, and was conscripted into the Constitutional Army during the Mexican Revolution. In 1920, he fled his home country and made his way to El Paso, Texas, where he found work as a photographer's assistant. It was here he attended a lecture presented by art teacher Lorado Taft, who was visiting El Paso on an Art Institute of Chicago tour. Seeing potential in the young man, Taft encouraged Alferez to come study under him in Chicago, which he did from 1927 through 1929.[1]

"Fountain of the Winds", detail, New Orleans Lakefront Airport, 1937

After completing his education in 1929, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he spent much of the rest of his life. He later married an American woman named Margaret, with whom he had a daughter.[2]

His sculptures and reliefs adorn many parks, buildings, and landmarks in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area, many of them commissioned by the Works Progress Administration. Some of the most notable include those in City Park, as well as the "Molly Marine" statue, the first American sculpture to depict a woman in military uniform[3][4] His fountain at New Orleans Lakefront Airport is a well known local landmark. He made reliefs for a number of buildings, including the Charity Hospital Building[5] in New Orleans and the Palmolive Building in Chicago.

Alférez was not only a sculptor, and actively produced work in other artistic disciplines. Notably, he painted an official portrait of Senator Huey P. Long (who he personally loathed, as he revealed decades later).

Alférez remained active into his later years, both as a working artist and an art teacher. In 1993, he appeared in a PBS American Experience documentary entitled "The Hunt for Pancho Villa".

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  1. ^ Johnson, Steve. "Story of Mexican art in Chicago is the story of Chicago art". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. ^ "Dr. Tlaloc Alferez-Top Female Achiever". Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-07-14.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ http://womenmarines.wordpress.com/tag/molly-marine/} http://womenmarines.wordpress.com/tag/molly-marine/
  5. ^ "Nude women sculptures now in City Park's beautiful new sculpture garden". WGNO. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2018-11-06.