Sylvia Shaw Judson

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Sylvia Shaw Judson (1897–1978), also known as Sylvia Shaw Haskins, was an American sculptor and teacher.

Early life and education[edit]

Shaw was born in 1897 in Lake Forest, Illinois, near Chicago, the daughter of prominent Chicago architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. She attended the Westover School in Connecticut. In 1921, she married Clay Judson (1892–1960), a Chicago lawyer. She studied with Anna Hyatt Huntington and Albin Polasek at the Art Institute of Chicago and went to Paris in 1920 to continue her studies under Antoine Bourdelle at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Judson was influenced by Chinese sculpture and the work of French sculptor Aristide Maillol, whom she met in Paris.

Mrs. Judson had a son, Clay, who underwent a lobotomy to correct a behavioral problem. The surgery was not successful and Mr. Judson was eventually admitted to Friends Hospital, a Quaker Hospital in Philadelphia, PA in 1960's, where he lived until his death.

Sculptor and teacher[edit]

She won the Logan Prize in 1929 for her sculpture Little Gardener. She authored The Quiet Eye: A Way of Looking at Pictures and For Gardens and Other Places, The Sculpture of Sylvia Shaw Judson and taught sculpture at the American University in Cairo in 1963.

Judson had work exhibited at Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina; the White House, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the National Academy of Design, New York City. In 1926, she was awarded an honorable mention at the Chicago Art Club. In 1948 she was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member and became a full Academician in 1965.

Adult Life[edit]

As an adult, she joined the Religious Society of Friends and became an active participant in the church. In 1963, after the death of her first husband, she married Sidney Gatter Haskins (1893-1998), who was originally from England and a recent widower living in Illinois. He also joined the Religious Society of Friends and after her death moved to the Philadelphia area.




  • The Quiet Eye: A Way of Looking at Pictures, 1982 Regnery Publishing, ISBN 0-89526-638-5
  • For Gardens and Other Places, The Sculpture of Sylvia Shaw Judson
  • Illustrations for Songs of a Baby's Day, To the Tune of The Very Gentle Jog. By Frances Shaw (mother), 1928

Further reading[edit]

  • Sandra L. Underwood, The "Bird Girl", The Story of a Sculpture by Sylvia Shaw Judson, Schiffer Publishing, Limited, Atglen, PA, June 2006, ISBN 0-7643-2370-9


External links[edit]