Robert Merrell Gage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Robert Merrell Gage (December 26, 1892 – October 30, 1981) was an American sculptor, frequently credited or referred to as Merrell Gage.


Gage was born in Topeka, Kansas and studied in the Topeka public schools and at Washburn University. He worked on ranches in the Midwest before settling on an art career.[1] He studied art in New York and France and worked in the studio of Gutzon Borglum as an assistant. In 1916, he set up a sculpture studio in a barn behind his house in Topeka. His first public commission was for a statue of Abraham Lincoln that is now on the grounds of the Kansas State Capitol.

He married Marian Gage, a painter, shortly after World War I when he was in the medical corps and lived in Kansas City.[2] He began teaching sculpture at Washburn and at the Kansas City Art Institute.[3] They moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1924 and built a studio in their home in the Santa Monica Canyon.[2] He was appointed professor of sculpture at the University of Southern California and rose to the head of the department. Gage's mother and sister lived in La Jolla, San Diego, California.[4]

Academy Award Winning Short Film[edit]

Gage executed likenesses of Lincoln in many stages of the president's life. In 1955 Gage starred in a short film The Face of Lincoln, in which he modeled Lincoln's features while narrating the story of his life.[5] The film, produced by Wilber T. Blume, won an Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.[6] Gage executed numerous commissions in the Los Angeles area and served on the sculpture commission for the 1936 Olympics.[4] His film The Face of Jesus was nominated for Academy Awards in 1962.



  1. ^ AskART page, undated, retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  2. ^ a b Stewart. Virginia, (1957, September 8). "An ability for interpretation" The Los Angeles Times, p. M22. Retrieved June 23, 2008
  3. ^ Biography Kansas State Historical Society "Robert Merrell Gage page" undated, retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  4. ^ a b Kamerling, Bruce (Summer 1989). "Early Sculpture and Sculptors in San Diego". The Journal of San Diego History. 35 (3). Retrieved 2008-07-05.
  5. ^ Los Angeles County Arts Commission "Stanley Mosk Courthouse", undated, retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  6. ^ Merrell Gage papers, 1911–1982 at the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  7. ^ Public Art and Sculptures in Greater Los Angeles "Electric Fountain" (history and images) undated, retrieved on 2008-07-05.
  8. ^ Los Angeles sculpture + photo gallery, undated, retrieved on 2008-07-05.

External links[edit]