Vincent Glinsky

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Vincent Glinsky
Archives of American Art - Vincent Glinsky - 2124.jpg
Vincent Glinsky, from Archives of American Art
Born(1895-12-18)December 18, 1895
DiedMarch 19, 1975(1975-03-19) (aged 79)
New York City
EducationBeaux Arts Institute of Design, Columbia University School of Architecture, City College of New York
Known forSculpture

Vincent Glinsky (December 18, 1895 – March 19, 1975) was an American artist.


Vincent Glinsky was born in Russia on December 18, 1895 and emigrated to America just before World War I, settling in Syracuse, NY, with his family. In 1916 he moved to New York City, joining the inaugural class of the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, where he later taught (1931–32; 1940–41). During 1925–26 Glinsky studied at Columbia University's School of Architecture and moved into the field of architectural sculpture, working with Albert Kahn ("the architect of Detroit"), on the Maccabees Building, among other projects. Glinsky designed the entranceway reliefs, bronze elevator doors, and letterbox for New York's Fred F. French Building (constructed 1927; added to the National Register of Historic Places, 2004).

In 1927 Glinsky went to live in Europe for approximately two years, settling first in Rome. He later moved to Paris, where he was acknowledged as part of L'Ecole de Paris, a group of artists which included sculptors such as Calder, Giacometti, and Lifschitz, and painters such as Picasso, Dufy, and Roualt. In Paris Glinsky had a one-man show at the Galerie Zak in February 1929, followed by two group shows in Paris, one at Galerie Zak in 1929, and the other at Le Salon des Tuileries in 1930. In 1932 he was part of the Parisian show, "Artistes Americains de Paris," at the Galerie de la Renaissance.

On his return to New York, Glinsky began to exhibit widely. A solo show at The Fifty-Sixth St. Galleries was followed by showings in group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Architectural League, Art Institute of Chicago, National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among other venues. In 1935 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, [1] and the following year the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts awarded him the Widener Gold Medal for his work, The Awakening. As a Federal Art Project artist, Glinsky exhibited and presented live sculpture demonstrations at New York's 1939 World's Fair, and won competitive commissions from the Treasury Relief Art Project and the Section of Painting and Sculpture, to create bas-reliefs for United States Post Offices in Hudson, NY; Weirton, WV; Union City, PA and Oil City, PA.[2][3][4]

In 1937 Glinsky joined with 56 other artists as a Founding Member of the Sculptors Guild in New York. The Sculptors Guild was conceived as an advocacy and exhibiting organization devoted to furthering the sculptural arts. Its 1938 inaugural show included works by Glinsky, Paul Manship, Chaim Gross, Jose de Creeft, Oronzio Maldarelli, William Zorach, and 40 other artists. Glinsky served as Executive Secretary of the Sculptors Guild between 1955–60, and stayed active in the organization until his death. Over the years he took on active roles in other arts organizations, including Vice-President of the Architectural League of New York (1956–58), Fellow of the National Sculpture Society, Academician of the National Academy of Design, and a member of the Audubon Artists' Society.

During World War II Glinsky served as a draftsman at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (1943–46). He won an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1945,[5] and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts awarded him the 1948 Herbert M. Howe Memorial Prize. In 1949 he was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the 3rd Sculpture International at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. At the same time Glinsky also began a career in teaching, joining the faculty of Brooklyn College (1949–55), Columbia University (1957–62), and New York University (1950–75).

Later commissions included a series of panels for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, (which were posthumously enlarged for display in the lobby of N.I.H.); a bust of aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright for the N.Y.U. Hall of Fame for Great Americans; a bronze head of Eleanor Roosevelt, which became part of the collection at the U.S. Department of Labor; "The Waters of Life" sculpture for All Faiths' Memorial Tower; and an over-life-size piece for St.Paul's College in Washington D.C. His last commission, from the Tupperware Company, was a giant seal in carrara marble. In 1969 he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate member, and became a full Academician in 1970.

Following the artist's death on March 19, 1975, his students initiated the Vincent Glinsky Memorial Lecture, an annual event at NYU. The series ran for 12 years beginning in 1982, and featured noted art historians, critics, and artists. The inaugural lecture was given by Kirk Varnedoe, Curator of the Museum of Modern Art. Other speakers in the series included Hilton Kramer, Richard McDermott Miller, Joseph Veach Noble, Lewis Sharp, Richard Brilliant, Barbara Lekberg, Judd Tully, Marcel Jovine, Greg Wyatt, and Louis Trakis. Glinsky's colleagues also moved to honor his memory: The Sculptors Guild dedicated the 1976 Lever House exhibit to his memory, and the Audubon Artists named a yearly award in his honor.

Vincent Glinsky’s papers are held at Syracuse University[6] and the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.[7] He was married to the American sculptor Cleo Hartwig (1907–1988). His son is composer and author Albert Glinsky.



(Partial listing)

  • Architectural League:

1926; 1932; 1944; 1946; 1954; 1955

  • Whitney Museum:

1936; 1938; 1940; 1944; 1947

  • Brooklyn Museum of Art:

1930; 1933; 1938

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art:


  • Museum of Modern Art:


  • Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts:

1931; 1936; 1939; 1945 (twice); 1947 (twice); 1948

  • Art Institute of Chicago:

1930; 1931; 1932–33; 1936; 1938

  • National Academy of Design:

1947; 1948; 1950

  • Audubon Artists:

1945; 1946 (twice); 1947; 1948; 1960; 1961

  • Galerie Zak:

1929 (twice: solo show and group show)

  • Les Salon des Tuileries:


  • Galerie de la Renaissance:


  • National Sculpture Society:

1932; 1940; 1948; 1950; 1952; 1974; 1975

  • Philadelphia Museum of Art:

1940; 1949 (3rd Sculpture International);

  • Sculptors Guild:

1938; 1939;

  • Solo Shows:

Galerie Zak, 1929; Fifty-Sixth Street Galleries, 1930; Wellons Gallery, 1957; Sculpture Center, 1975

Architectural Sculpture Projects[edit]

  • 1923–24—Ford Motor Company, Detroit, MI; Decorative Keystone Models; collaborating with architect Albert Kahn
  • 1924—Heads, Spanish motif, exterior sculptural decorations on Coney Island Hotel ("Half Moon Hotel")
  • 1925—Maccabees Building, Detroit, MI: two cornice Models, interior sculpture decorations for bronze doors and decorations; model for six-foot American Eagle for Keystone; collaborating with architect Albert Kahn
  • 1925—New Orleans, LA Bank building: 12 Bronze Door Decorative sculpture Panels; collaborating with architect
  • 1927—Fred F. French Building, NYC: entranceway reliefs, bronze elevator doors, lobby letterbox (added to National Register of Historic Places, 2004)
  • 1950—National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD: sculptural panels which traced the history of medicine. After the artist's death, these panels were enlarged and installed on the walls of the lobby.

Commissions / Awards[edit]

  • 1923–24—Ford Motor Company Building, Detroit, MI: decorative keystone models *1924–25—Fred F. French Building (NYC): 19 decorative bronze panels, exterior panels, two sculptural decorations over entrances; letterbox design
  • 1925—Maccabees Building, Detroit, M:; two cornice models; interior sculptural decorations for bronze doors and other decorations; model for 6' eagle for keystone *1925—First National Bank of Commerce, New Orleans, LA: 12 decorative sculpture panels for bronze elevator doors
  • 1930—Rutgers University/NJ College for Women: Portrait of James Nelson
  • 1935—John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship: Creative Sculpture
  • 1936—Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts: George D. Widener Gold Medal
  • 1938—U.S. Navy: Expeditionary Medal
  • 1938—U.S. Post Office, Union City, PA: Mahogany bas-relief
  • 1939—U.S. Post Office, Weirton, West Va: Cast stone bas-relief
  • 1940—U.S. Post Office, Hudson, NY: Cast Stone bas-relief panels
  • 1941—U.S. Navy: Vice Admiral Adolphus Andrews Jr., portrait bust (at Naval Historical Center)
  • 1945—American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Institute of Arts and Letters: Grant
  • 1947—Brookgreen Gardens, SC: "Awakening" in Tennessee Marble, 5' long
  • 1948—Herbert M. Howe Memorial Prize, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts *1948—Golden Anniversary of the City of New York: Citation in Medal Competition
  • 1951—National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD: eight aluminum panels for elevator door decorations (posthumous expanded versions in lobby added later)
  • 1951—New York Board of Education: Commemorative Plaque
  • 1954—Architectural League of New York: National Gold Medal Exhibition Honorable Mention
  • 1955—Shell Oil Company: Carol Lane Safety Award Sculpture
  • 1956—Sun and Surf Beach Club, Atlantic Beach, NY: Wall reliefs, wire mobile decorations
  • 1956—Adelphi College: Trophy Competition, First Prize
  • 1956—Architectural League of NY: Henry O. Avery Award for small sculpture
  • 1958—National Arts Club: Medal of Honor
  • 1960—St. Paul's College, Washington, D.C.: Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine (Limestone, 8' high, for garden)
  • 1963—George Washington Memorial Park (formerly "All Faiths Memorial Tower"), Paramus, NJ: Bronze wall relief fountain, "The Waters of Life."
  • 1963—U.S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D.C.: Portrait head of Eleanor Roosevelt. Copies went to Wiltwyck School for Boys, NY; Roosevelt House, Hunter College, NY *1965—James A. Farley: Portrait head 1967—NYU Hall of Fame for Great Americans: portrait of Wilbur Wright, aviation pioneer
  • 1967—Audubon Artists: Silver Anniversary Medal
  • 1967—National Sculpture Society: Gold Medal
  • 1968—National Commemorative Society: Theodore Roosevelt coin-medal
  • 1968—National Sculpture Society: C. Percival Dietsch Prize
  • 1970—National Academy of Design: Ellin P. Speyer Prize
  • 1972—National Sculpture Society: Bronze Medal
  • 1975—Tupperware World Headquarters, Orlando, FL: "Seal" in Carrara Marble, 6' high for outdoor pool. Dedicated posthumously


  • Images of America; Sculpture of Brookgreen Gardens

Robin R. Salmon Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco, 2009

  • Who Was Who in American Art: 1564–1975; 400 Years of Artists in America

Falk, Peter H. Sound View Press, 1999

  • Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors, & Engravers

Fielding, Mantle/Opitz, Glenn B. Apollo, NY, 1986

  • A Dual Autobiography

Durant, Will and Ariel Simon and Schuster, NY, 1977

  • Index to Artistic Biography, First Supplement

Havlice, Patricia Pate Scarecrow Press, NJ, 1973

  • Contemporary American Sculpture

Brumme, C. Ludwig Crown Publishers, New York, 1970

  • Contemporary Stone Sculpture

Meilach, Dona Z. Crown Publishers, New York, 1970

  • Fifty Contemporary American Artists

Gulack, Herman C. Plantin Press, New York, 1957

  • Brookgreen Gardens, Sculpture Vol. II

Proske, Beatrice Gilman Order of the Trustees, Brookgreen, S.C. 1955

  • Mallett's Index of Artists; International-Biographical

Daniel Trowbridge Mallett Peter Smith, NY, 1948

  • Sculpture in Modern America

Schnier, Jacques University of California Press, 1948


  1. ^ "Vincent Glinsky – John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". April 1, 1935. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Glinsky's sculpture: An original work in the Cummings Art Gallery | The Merciad". February 9, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
  4. ^ "The Post Office — A Community Icon" (PDF). State Museum of Pennsylvania. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 24, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ v.htm
  7. ^ Archives of American Art. "Summary of the Vincent Glinsky papers, 1927–1982 | Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution". Retrieved August 22, 2014.

External links[edit]