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WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY SCULPTURE TOUR

The Family Group

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The Family GroupArtist - Milton Hebald
Born - 1917
Origin - America
Year Built - 1954

About the Artist:  Milton Hebald began sculpting in grammar school. After brief studies at the Art Students League in 1927 and the National Academy of Design in 1931, he transferred to the Beaux Arts Institute of Design in 1932, where he worked in the style of direct carving. At the conclusion of his three-year study at the Institute, Hebald taught classes through Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Federal Art Project. He served in the military in 1945, and in 1946 accepted a position at Cooper Union. Hebald taught at Cooper Union until 1953 while teaching concurrently at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art. In 1955, he received the Prix de Rome and spent a year residency at the American Academy in Rome. The Roman Baroque exerted a strong influence on Hebald during his first year; as Frank Getlein, the artist's biographer, has stated, "Hebald practices the Baroque, extols the Baroque, and thoroughly enjoys the Baroque, while at the same time gently mocking its pretensions and contrasting its grandeurs with human frailties." Hebald continues to live in Rome.

The Family Group and Harvest illustrate the differences in Hebald's style before and after his move to Rome. Hebald sculpted The Family Group in 1952 for the face of the Nathan B. Van Etten Hospital of Albert Einstein University in the Bronx. The sculpture depicts a father, mother, and their four children "in the act of coming together, after apartness." The space between the figures emphasizes the sense of reunion. Hebald's style is fairly naturalistic compared to the exuberance of Harvest, 1957. Harvest shows Hebald's "identification with his Roman past" in the Baroque curves that dominate every contour of the work. A mother and child pick fruit from a tree limb above; the sculpture may also act as a fountain, which delicately showers the figures from hidden holes in the limb.