Vision, talent, will, and money - the perfect combination for a Golden Age in sculpture. It's only happened a small handful of times, and it happened first in 5th Century BC Greece. In the first of a series of episodes covering this period, Jason discusses well-known landmarks of Classical Greece such as the Riace Bronzes, the Discus Thrower, and the life and work of the greatest of Old Masters - Phidias.
What did it take to move Greek culture forward into the Classical period from the Archaic? Just a few victorious battles against impossible odds, unexpected and fantastic wealth, military and political genius, and... - oh yeah, the complete destruction of Athens. Learn how luck, will, disasters, and mayhem strong enough to wipe the archaic smile off any Greek's face kickstarted the greatest era of Greek civilization.
Renaissance means 'Rebirth'. But we don't hear much about the original 'Naissance' in Ancient Greece that gave birth to what we call Classical sculpture. When were the first lifesized bronze figures cast? What were the first civic public monuments? Who invented Contrapposto? Find out here.
In the first of a new series of Sculptor's Funeral episodes focusing on the ancient Greeks, Jason looks at the fundamental question underlying the nature of the entire Western European Tradition of sculpture - Why Greece? Why did it all start there, and why do artists throughout history keep returning there -and not Egypt or Persia or another artistic tradition? It's actually a question with a straightforward answer - Nature. But the origins and motives behind this simple answer are more complex.
Gutzon Borglum's masterpiece, the Mount Rushmore National Monument... Overblown tourist attraction, or a sculpture for the Ages? Listen to the unlikely story of its creation, and you might decide that somehow it's both.
Who is Gutzon Borglum, you ask? How strange that the sculptor of the Mount Rushmore National Monument in South Dakota is practically unknown, even in the United States. In the first of this two-part episode, we look at the life and work of the man, before he met the mountain.
This episode of the Sculptor's Funeral examines the controversy surrounding the removal of statues from public spaces around the United States. Why are statues commemorating the losing side of a civil war more prevalent than those commemorating the victors of other wars? What is the message they were designed to send - and who sent the message? Jason examines this fascinating case study in public art as propaganda.
Daniel Chester French's greatest work is arguably the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. but where does 'greatness' in art come from? Is it given to the artwork by its creator, or is it, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder?
Daniel Chester French is mostly remembered for sculpting the colossal Lincoln on the National Mall in Washington DC, but equally, he was America's master of memorials in the late 19th century. From the Minuteman to the Melvin Memorial, he produced works which helped promote the city beautiful movement far beyond the nation's capital.
Is it Paris? Versailles? Venice? ...Chicago, actually! The stunning cityscape you see inthe image was known as the White City, a dreamlike place which existed for a few short years before disappearing - but its legacy lives on in cities and towns all over the United States, part of a phenomenon known as the City Beautiful Movement.
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me..."
...The American ideals which the Statue of Liberty represents are hard to trump...
In this interview, Jason talks with Michael Defeo, a sculptor who has developed dozens of characters for animated features like Ice Age and Despicable Me, using every tool at his disposal, from clay to Zbrush and beyond. But what is 'digital' sculpting? Is it 'really' sculpting? How does it work? Mike and Jason discuss these questions and more.
In the second half of this two-part episode, we discuss several works by Saint-Gaudens; monuments that in the hands of lesser sculptors would have been standard, run-of-the-mill statues. But in the hands of a genius, commonplaces become masterpieces.
To tell the story the story of the career of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is to tell the story of American sculpture in the late 19th century. In the first of this two-part biography, we discuss the beginnings of his remarkable career, his unique achievements in low relief, and more.
One of the most influential instructors in figurative sculpture today, Robert Bodem has been the Director of Sculpture at the Florence Academy of Art since FAA started to offer sculpture in the 1990's. If you have ever wondered just what it is they do at the Florence Academy sculpture department, this interview is for you. Rob talks about his teaching curriculum and methodology, as well as his own work and influences.
Harriet Hosmer was known in her day as a 'Lady Sculptor', an 'Emancipated Woman', and as a leading member of 'The White Marmorean Flock'. What all the meant was that she was a successful, independent sculptor at a time when such a career path was hardly open to women. And today, she is barely known at all... In this episode, find out why her work and life is worth remembering.
Host Jason Arkles bids you all a Romantic Adieu (Don't worry, it's just the season Finale) with this rebroadcast of the Romanticism podcast, as well as discusses the Sculptor's Funeral podcast itself and how it's doing, and gives a big thanks to those who have helped it become what it is.
The first American sculptor to achieve international fame, Hiram Powers, did so with a statue which was as controversial for its anti-slavery sentiment as it was for its (gasp!) nudity. We know that America eventually overcame the scourge of slavery; but how did 19th century America deal with the scourge of the nude in art?
What New World? European settlers on the American continent brought Old World European tastes in sculpture with them from their earliest days, but it wasn't until 1825 that an American-born sculptor, Horatio Greenough, journeyed to Europe to learn how it was done.
Brian Booth Craig talks a lot. Usually this is not a problem, I can edit an interview into a snappy hour long episode - but it's just that what Brian says is so interesting and engaging, I can't help but make another episode from all the off-topic conversation I had with him. Listen in and find out why I think he's one of the most thoughtful and perceptive figurative sculptors we have around these days.