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Heinz Warneke Portrait

Heinz Warneke

Bremen, Germany 1895

Madison, Connecticut 1983

Active in:

  • Washington, District of Columbia
  • East Haddam, Connecticut
  • New York, New York

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

Luce Artist Quote

“[Warneke] has the inner inspiration to vitalize his work and the skill to express it in significant form.” Ada Rainey, 1942


Sculptor Heinz Warneke was born in Germany and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin and other German art schools. After immigrating to the United States, he won numerous awards for his work and many commissions. For the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., he created a granite sculpture, Prodigal Son, in addition to the tympanum and clerestory decoration. Warneke was particularly well known for his animal sculptures, among which was the elephant group for the Philadelphia Zoo. From 1943 to 1968 he taught at the Corcoran School of Art and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

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)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

Heinz Warneke’s artistic contribution was twofold. As a gifted sculptor, he used direct carving and casting to create works for many sites across the United States, including a series of statues for a Harlem housing project in New York and the Nittany Lion, the mascot of the University of Pennsylvania. But from 1943 to 1965 he also worked as an instructor at the Corcoran School of Art, heading the sculpture department after 1944. There he helped shape the work of a generation of student sculptors.