Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

William Zorach Portrait

William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait William Zorach Portrait

William Zorach

Also Known as: Zorach Samovich, William Finkelstein

Born:
Eurburg, Lithuania 1889

Died:
Bath, Maine 1966

Active in:

  • New York, New York
  • Provincetown, Massachusetts

Photo Caption:
Max Weber, Portrait of William Zorach, 1948, charcoal and brush and ink on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift of Dahlov Ipcar and Tessim Zorach 1968.154.798.

Photo Caption:
Anita Weschler, Bronze Head of William Zorach, before 1947, bronze on metal base, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift from the collection of the Zorach children 1976.145.24.

Photo Caption:
William Zorach, 1950, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0002313

Photo Caption:
William Zorach standing beside Mother and Child, Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0029426

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

Photo Caption:
Marguerite Zorach, William Zorach, 1913, watercolor and pencil on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift from the collection of the Zorach children 1970.65.38.

Photo Caption:
Marguerite Zorach, Portrait of Bill (Bill Zorach), ca. 1925, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift from the collection of the Zorach children 1970.65.19.

Photo Caption:
Eugenie Gershoy, William Zorach, n.d., bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift from the collection of the Zorach children 1971.103

Photo Caption:
George Constant, William Zorach, ca. 1930s, etching on paper, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift of Dahlov Ipcar and Tessim Zorach 1968.154.800.

Photo Caption:
Anita Weschler, Bronze Head of William Zorach, before 1947, bronze on metal base, Smithsonian American Art Museum,Gift from the collection of the Zorach children 1976.145.24.

Luce Artist Quote

"As an artist, I'm here for a moment. I want to leave a little record of that moment, that life. I don't want to leave just a stone. What I'm trying to do is leave something with meaning for humanity." The artist, quoted in Joseph Wershba, "Closeup: Sculptor," vertical file, AA/PG Library


Biography

Born in Lithuania, brought to Ohio in 1891, moved to New York City in 1912. Artist who ceased oil painting in 1922, having discovered that sculpture suited him better; he tried to let the stone or wood take its own shape, whether in large public monuments or in smaller works.

Charles Sullivan, ed American Beauties: Women in Art and Literature (New York: Henry N. Abrams, Inc., in association with National Museum of American Art, 1993)

Additional Biographies

Luce Artist Biography

William Zorach was the son of Lithuanian immigrants who settled in Ohio when he was four years old. He dropped out of school at age thirteen and worked as a lithographer's apprentice to help support his family. In 1910, Zorach traveled to Paris to study; there he met his wife, artist Marguerite Thompson, and first encountered different kinds of modern art. He was originally a painter before finding his niche in sculpture, and became one of the earliest proponents of the direct carving method in America. Zorach divided his time between Maine and New York City, where he taught sculpture at the Art Students League for thirty-three years. He is known for his figural sculptures, which include nudes, children, animals, and portrait heads. Although Zorach used simplified geometric forms in his figural groups, he was able to capture the love and affection in human relationships. He frequently used his family, friends, and pets as models, drawing on his own life to portray universal human experiences.