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José de Creeft Portrait

José de Creeft Portrait

José de Creeft

Also Known as: Jose de Creeft

Guadalajara, Spain 1884

New York, New York 1982

Active in:

  • Hoosick Falls, New York

Photo Caption:
Jose de Creeft, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0001461

Photo Caption:
Courtesy Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Luce Artist Quote

"I make sculpture in stone . . . in any material, because it excites me to make sculpture. It is my life, it is my way to talk . . . to express myself. How should I explain anything further about it? I explain myself completely in my work. Instead of words, I use forms. The forms are my total expression . . ." Artist's statement, July 1972


Sculptor. In 1929, after studying in Paris, de Creeft immigrated to the United States from Spain. He popularlized direct stone carving through his female heads and figures; his experiments with hammered lead were also innovative.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)

Additional Biographies

José de Creeft was born in the small Catalan town of Guadalajara in 1884. His family moved to Barcelona, Spain, soon after he was born. When de Creeft was thirteen years old, his father died, and out of necessity the boy was apprenticed to a wood carver who worked in the local churches. The experience in the artist's workshop cemented de Creeft's decision to become an artist. He moved to Paris at the age of twenty-one and entered the Académie Julian, where he worked in a studio adjacent to those of Pablo Picasso and Juan Gris. In 1929 de Creeft immigrated to the United States. His female heads and figures helped to popularize direct stone carving, a skill he developed in the early 1920s that owed no small debt to his boyhood apprenticeship.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)