Elie Nadelman

born Warsaw, Poland 1882-died New York City 1946
Media - portrait_image_113613.jpg - 90329
Copyright unknown
Warsaw, Poland
New York, New York, United States
Active in
  • Paris, France
  • Riverdale, New York, United States

Born in Poland, worked in Paris, came to New York City in 1914. Early modernist sculptor who became widely known in Europe before moving to the United States. Here his work was influenced by folk art as well as classical forms, and he flourished for a time but fell into obscurity years before his death.

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)

Luce Artist Biography

Elie Nadelman was born into a middle-class Polish family, but at twenty-two left Warsaw and settled in Paris. There, he chose sculpture as his primary medium after seeing classical works and the masterpieces of Auguste Rodin. He immigrated to New York at the start of World War I and quickly came under the spell of the city's dance halls, circuses, and vaudeville acts. He grew interested in American folk art and began buying pieces until his collection grew so large that he founded the Nadelman Museum of Folk Art in Riverdale, New York. During the Great Depression, his popularity and commissions dropped off, and he was forced to sell his collection in order to survive.

Related Books

Crosscurrents: Modern Art from the Sam Rose and Julie Walters Collection
In eighty-eight striking paintings and sculptures, Crosscurrents captures modernism as it moved from early abstractions by O’Keeffe, to Picasso and Pollock in midcentury, to pop riffs on contemporary culture by Roy Lichtenstein, Wayne Thiebaud, and Tom Wesselmann—all illustrating the complexity and energy of a distinctly American modernism.