William Ordway Partridge

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William Ordway Partridge (April 11, 1861 – May 22, 1930) was an American sculptor whose public commissions can be found in New York City and other locations.

Life and career[edit]

William Partridge was born in Paris to American parents descended from the Pilgrims in Massachusetts; his father was a representative of A.T. Stewart. At the end of the reign of Napoleon III, Partridge travelled to America to attend Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn and Columbia University (graduated 1883) in New York. After a year of experimentation in theatre, he went abroad to study sculpture. During a brief stint in the Paris studio of William-Adolphe Bouguereau, he formed a close friendship with the neo-Gothic architect Ralph Adams Cram on his 1887 trip.[1] He knew the young Bernard Berenson in Florence, where he studied in the studio of Galli, and Rome, in the studio of Pio Welonski (1883–85).[2]

His published work includes articles on aesthetics and several art history books including Art For America (1894), The Song Life of a Sculptor (1894), and The Technique of Sculpture (1895). He also wrote poems and published the verse novels Angel of Clay (1900) and The Czar's Gift (1906).[3]

Aside from his public commissions, his work consisted mostly of portrait busts. In 1893 eleven of his works were displayed at the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, according to the official catalog of the Fine Arts Building at the fair, where he exhibited sculptures of Alexander Hamilton and William Shakespeare[4] as well as portraits. In this same catalog Partridge was listed as living in Milton, Massachusetts. He maintained homes and studios in both Milton and New York. Among his studio assistants on West 38th Street in New York was Lee Lawrie.

Partridge went on to lecture at Stanford University in California, and assumed a professorship at Columbian University, now George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.

His life-size statue of the Native American princess, Pocahontas, was unveiled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1922. Queen Elizabeth II viewed this statue in 1957 and again on May 4, 2007, while visiting Jamestown on the 400th anniversary of the founding of the first successful English colonial settlement in America. On October 5, 1958, a replica of the Pocahontas statue by Partridge was dedicated as a memorial to the princess at the location of her burial in 1617 at St. George's Church in Gravesend, England. The Governor of Virginia presented the replica statue as a gift to the British people.

Partridge died in Manhattan, New York on May 22, 1930.

Selected works[edit]

A considerable amount of Partridge's statuary remains on public display in New York City and other locations:


probable Partridge signature on his 1914 catalog


  1. ^ Douglass Shand-Tucci, Boston Bohemia, 1881-1900: Ralph Adams Cram: Life and Architecture (University of Massachusetts Press) 1996:59.
  2. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica 1911: 'William Ordway Partridge"; Smithsonian American Art Museum
  3. ^ "PARTRIDGE, William Ordway". Who's Who in New York City and State,. Vol. 4. 1909. p. 1020.
  4. ^ The Shakespeare remained in Lincoln Park, Chicago. (Appleton's Cyclopaedia)
  5. ^ http://www.nyhistory.org/node/21949
  6. ^ Inscribed 1892 on base.
  7. ^ Dianne Durante, "Alexander Hamilton"
  8. ^ Andrew S. Dolkart, Morningside Heights: A History of Its Architecture & Development (Columbia University Press) 1998, note 62, pp 412-13. Dolkart notes that W. Ordway Partridge also produced the Class of 1885 Sundial, in a setting by Charles Follen McKim, the Thomas Jefferson in front of Journalism Hall (1914) and the Van Amringe Memorial in the Van Amringe Quadrangle (1918-22)
  9. ^ Partridge published a poem and essay, with a vita of Hale co-written by George Cary Eggleston, Nathan Hale, The Ideal Patriot, 1902, in part to generate interest for his sculpture, which occupied a chapter entitled "The creation of an ideal work."
  10. ^ Partridge, William Ordway, The Works in Sculpture of William Ordway Partridge, M.A., John Lane Company, New York, 1914 p. 35
  11. ^ "Cultural Tourism: The Kauffman Memorial". Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  12. ^ Public Art in The Bronx/
  13. ^ Seeing America: Painting and Sculpture from the Memorial Art Gallery 44


External links[edit]


  • Appleton's Cyclopaedia of Armerican Biography