The Walters Art Museum, in Baltimore, has an exciting exhibit, “Rinehart’s Studio: Rough Stone to Living Marble”. William Henry Rinehart (9/13/1825 – 10/28/1874) was born near Union Bridge, Maryland. He loved art and had a natural talent for stone carving. As a young man he was an apprentice in a stone yard and studied sculpture at what is now the Maryland Institute College of Art. He became a successful and famous marble sculptor during the 19th century. He had a studio in Baltimore where many of his pieces were created. In 1858, he moved to Italy where he set up another studio and had many stone workmen help with his creations. He lived the rest of his life in Italy with a few visits back to Baltimore.
William T. Walters (founder of the Walters Art Museum) was one of Rinehart’s patrons and he created many sculptures for Walters’ art collection. He had the talent to make the marble sculptures become alive and added unique details to his sculptures. For example, look at the details chiseled into the sculpture of Mrs. William T. Walters. Look at the intricate lace on Mrs. Walters’ dress.
Marble has a visual depth that can portray the appearance of human skin. Rinehart could take the coldness of the stone and create warm sculptures that seem to be alive. Sleeping Children appear as if you could reach out and touch the two infants taking a nap. The cover drapes over their tiny bodies as they peacefully sleep and dream pleasant dreams.
As an added bonus, the exhibit explains and displays the process of sculpting marble, from the process of making the clay model, to making the plaster cast, to the process of sculpting the marble with calipers and carving tools.
You can visit the exhibit through August 30, 2015, and the Walters Art Museum has a large number of Rinehart’s pieces on permanent display. http://thewalters.org/events/event.aspx?e=3945
Also, many of Rinehart’s pieces are on permanent display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and many other museums. The St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Annapolis, Maryland has a stone altar and font carved by Rinehart (see March 31, 2015 post).
Thank you to the Walters Art Museum staff for contributing all of the photos of the exhibit for this post. Please visit the museum website for more information.
Enjoy the beauty of art everyday,