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Artist - Jo Davidson
Born - 1883
Died - 1952
Origin - America
Year Built - 1947
About the Artist: Born on the Lower East Side of New York City, Jo Davidson attended night courses at the Art Students League as a teen. Even though his parents prepared him for medical school at Yale, the aspiring artist gravitated toward the art program, eventually giving up any interest in medicine. He continued his studies at the League in 1903, apprenticing with Herman Atkins MacNeil (1866-1947). Davidson left for Paris shortly after and exhibited with the European and American avant-garde in the Salon d'Automne.
Following World War I, Davidson turned increasingly to portraiture with the purpose of creating a "plastic history" using personalities of the period.16 As he explained, "portraiture became an obsession. Meeting and knowing people meant becoming acquainted with their thinking." In the 1920s, he sculpted political figures, writers, and artists, resulting in works such as Gertrude Stein, 1920 (Whitney Museum of American Art).
Davidson sculpted the bust of Kansas native Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1947, just before the Chief of Staff resigned his position. The sculptor depicts Eisenhower in his military garb as commander of the Allied forces, nearly six years before the latter's election as President of the United States.