William Couper (sculptor)
|Died||June 23, 1942 (aged 88)|
Life and career
Born in Norfolk, Virginia, Couper studied in Munich and Florence, and remained in the latter city for 22 years before returning to the United States and establishing himself in New York in 1897 as a portraitist and sculptor of busts in the modern Italian manner. He and Thomas Ball purchased a three-story brick building on 17th Street in Manhattan to serve as shared studio space.
He sculpted the figure of the Roman goddess Flora for the exhibit of the Apollinaris Company at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. At the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in 1901 his work won a bronze medal.
Couper retired from sculpting in 1913.
Couper is well known for his winged figures, such as the Recording Angel at the Couper family plot in Elmwood Cemetery in Norfolk and allegorical figures, such as Psyche and A Crown for the Victor, in the collection of the Montclair Art Museum.
Couper lived much of his life in Montclair, New Jersey, where he built a large neoclassical villa he named Poggioridente or "laughing knoll". He had a home in Cortland, New York, as well. His wife died in 1939. They had several sons, one of whom, Thomas Ball Couper, lived in Montclair. His son Richard Hamilton Couper, a landscape painter, died in 1918 at the age of 33.
- Confederate Monument in downtown Norfolk, Virginia (1906)
- Statue of John Witherspoon, Washington, D.C. (1909)
- Bronze statue of Hunter Holmes McGuire at the Virginia State Capitol, Richmond, Virginia
- Statue of Captain John Smith overlooking the James River at Jamestown, Virginia
- Statue of John A. Roebling in City Park, Trenton, New Jersey
- Statue of Abram Hewitt, New York City mayor
- Statue of Morris K. Jessup, head of the New York Museum of Natural History (1910)
- Bronze bust of Charles Darwin, created in New York in 1909 and presented to the American Museum of Natural History. A replica of this work was also presented to Christ's College, Cambridge where Darwin had been an undergraduate.
- Statue of Joseph Bryan, Monroe Park, Richmond, Virginia (1910)
- Marble sphinxes at the Stanford Family Mausoleum at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California (1908)
- Statue of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Washington, D.C. (1909)
- Bust of John D. Rockefeller
- Statue of Morris Ketchum Jesup
- The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. IX. James T. White & Company. 1907. p. 58. Retrieved November 23, 2020 – via Google Books.
- "In the Real Estate Field" (PDF). New York Times. December 14, 1897. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Apollinaris at the World's Fair" (PDF). New York Times. June 14, 1893. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "William Couper, Sculptor, was 88" (PDF). New York Times. June 25, 1942. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- Raynor, Vivien (December 27, 1981). "The Magnet of Montclair: Its Attractions on View". New York Times. Retrieved December 6, 2007.
- "Richard Hamilton Couper, Artist" (PDF). New York Times. March 21, 1918. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Give Jessup Statue to History Museum" (PDF). New York Times. February 4, 1910. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Portraits in the Round: Busts of Charles Darwin". Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- "Richmond on the James". Retrieved February 15, 2015.
- Manchester, William (October 6, 1974). "The Founding a Grandfather" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
- Couper, Greta Elena, An American Sculptor on the Grand Tour: The Life and Works of William Couper (1853–1942), TreCavalli Press, 1988, ISBN 9780962063541
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