Henry Kirke Brown
|Henry Kirke Brown|
Henry Kirke Brown, circa 1870
February 24, 1814|
|Died||July 10, 1886
Newburgh, New York
He began to paint portraits while still a boy, studied painting in Boston under Chester Harding, learned a little about modelling, and in 1836-1839 spent his summers working as a railroad engineer to earn enough to enable him to study further.
He spent four years (1842–1846) in Italy; but returning to New York he remained distinctively American, and was never dominated, as were so many of the early American sculptors, by Italian influence.
He produced The Choosing of the Arrow for the American Art Union, in 1849. His equestrian statues are excellent, notably that of George Washington (1856) in Union Square, New York City, which was the second equestrian statue made in the United States, following by three years that of Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C. by Clark Mills (1815–1883), and of Brevet Lt. General Winfield Scott (1874) in Washington, D.C.. Brown was one of the first in America to cast his own bronzes. In 1847, Brown was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full member in 1851.
Among his other works are: Abraham Lincoln (Union Square, New York City); Nathanael Greene, George Clinton, Philip Kearny, and Richard Stockton (all in the National Statuary Hall, United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.); De Witt Clinton (illustration, below) and The Angel of the Resurrection, both in Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York; and an Aboriginal Hunter.
The New York Times remarked that the DeWitt Clinton was the first American full-length sculpture cast in a single piece, when it was exhibited temporarily in City Hall Park in 1855.
Henry Brown's children include Harold Bush-Brown, a longtime director of Georgia Tech's architecture school, and James Bush-Brown, landscape architect and co-author of America's Garden Book. His nephew and adopted son, Henry Kirke Bush-Brown, was also a sculptor and pupil of Brown's.
Abraham Lincoln at Prospect Park Plaza, Brooklyn
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henry Kirke Brown.|
- Bush-Brown Family Papers
- "Brown, Henry Kirke, 1814-1886, sculptor", SIRIS
- "Henry Kirke Brown papers, 1836-1893" Archives of American Art
- Art and the empire city: New York, 1825-1861, an exhibition catalog from The Metropolitan Museum of Art (fully available online as PDF), which contains material on Brown (see index)