Bessie Callender

Bessie Callender (ca. 1889 – June 26, 1951) was an American sculptor most competently known for her sculptures of wildlife in the style of the French animaliers.

Bessie Stough was born near Wichita, Kansas in 1889 and spent most of her childhood upon a farm, where her concentration in animals originated. She moved to New York in the forward 1920s after marrying The New York Times journalist Harold Callender. Here, she studied drawing below George Bridgman, at the Art Students League, and the Cooper Union. She next modeled from life. When she and her husband were transferred to Paris in 1926, she studied below Antoine Bourdelle, and later under the important animalier, Georges Hilbert. It was below Hilbert's handing out that she began the stone carvings of animals she established the most clapping for.

Callender's process began once observing animals in either the Jardin des Plantes or the London Zoo. Then, she would develop sketches and plasticine studies of an animal, until the "spirit" of the creature was captured. After that, she began to carve, and could take up to a year refining a single piece. The condensed forms and deeply polished surfaces of her works play a role the have emotional impact of Egyptian sculpture, specifically block statues, which she considered to be the finest in the world.

Her sculpture was tersely recognized for its environment and was frequently exhibited at the Salon des Independants in Paris and the Royal Academy in London. She continued to take steps until a cancer operation prevented her from sculpting far ahead in life. After her death at the age of 62, in 1951, her husband donated seven of her sculptures to the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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