John Storrs

born Chicago, IL 1885-died Mer, France 1956
Also known as
  • John Bradley Storrs
  • John H. Storrs
  • John Henry Bradley Storrs
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Mer, France
  • American

Although he was born in Chicago, John Henry Bradley Storrs was a member of a prominent New England family. His musical talent led him to Berlin in 1905 to study voice, but he soon decided to become a sculptor. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. By 1911 he was living in Paris, where he studied with Auguste Rodin and also attended the Académie Julian. In later years Storrs would turn away from traditional representation to more abstract, machine-like forms.

In 1914 Storrs married a French writer, Marguerite Deville Chabrol, and bought a chateau in Mer, France. He divided his time between France and the United States, where his first solo exhibition of sculpture and wood engravings was presented at the Folsom Galleries in New York in 1920. His abstract sculpture was also shown in the Societé Anonyme's International Exhibition of Modern Art at the Brooklyn Museum in 1926.

In the 1930s Storrs turned his attention to painting, executing abstract work with a sculptural quality that also contained references to the human figure. During World War II Storrs was twice arrested as an enemy alien and imprisoned by the occupation forces in France. Upon being released, he returned in a weakened state to his studio in Mer and worked there until his death.

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)