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William Henry Rinehart Portrait

William Henry Rinehart

Also Known as: W. H. Rinehart

Union Bridge, Maryland 1825

Rome, Italy 1874

Active in:

  • Baltimore, Maryland

Photo Caption:
William Henry Rinehart, Self Portrait, 1850 1874, cast and painted plaster relief in metal frame, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift of the Peabody Institute 1970.335.25.

Luce Artist Quote

“I have treated [the subject] with as much simplicity as I could & perhaps with more severity than is common in modern works . . . I have made no effort to get Prettiness [for] I believe it to be unworthy of sculpture [intirely].” William Henry Rinehart

Luce Artist Biography

When William Henry Rinehart was a boy, he began carving sculptures from stone found in a quarry on his family’s farm. His father caught William carving a portrait of his mother when he was supposed to have been plowing the fields. The elder Rinehart was disappointed to realize that his son had no desire to farm, but surrendered to the inevitable and encouraged William to educate himself in art. In the mid-1840s, Rinehart moved to Baltimore, working as a stonecutter by day and taking art classes at night. The art patron William T. Walters was so impressed with William’s skilled repairs to a mantelpiece that he sponsored the young man’s study in Italy. The artist remained in Europe for most of his life, creating portraits and allegorical works for wealthy Americans who made his studio a stop on their “Grand Tours.”