Saul Baizerman was awarded a scholarship to the Imperial Art School in Odessa on the strength of his first work in clay. In 1910 he immigrated to the United States, locating briefly in Boston before settling permanently in New York City. There he studied art at the National Academy of Design and subsequently enrolled at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design as its first sculpture student. In 1920 Baizerman won a public competition to create a Civil Liberty monument for Grant’s Tomb in New York but rejected the coveted commission to pursue the possibilities of hammered metal, a technique he discovered while working on small cast bronzes. Intrigued by the transitory effects of light and shadow on hammered metal surfaces, Baizerman executed “City and the People,” his first series using the technique in hammered bronze. By 1921 he had started to work in hammered copper, which remained his preferred medium.
During the twenties Baizerman traveled frequently to Europe, lured by the need to prepare for a 1924 solo exhibition in London, as well as by the artistic and architectural treasures of France, Russia, and Italy. In 1931, however, the loss of almost all his art in a fire that demolished his studio effectively put an end to Baizerman’s transatlantic journeys. Two years later, salvaging what he could from the ruins of his workshop, the artist presented his first American solo exhibition, featuring small bronzes from the twenties, at New York’s Eighth Street Gallery. From 1934 to 1940 he conducted sculpture, drawing, and anatomy classes at his own art institute, the Baizerman Art School. After 1940, although he continued to teach at the American Artists School and the University of Southern California, Baizerman’s energy primarily was directed to his own work.
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)