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Harriet Whitney Frishmuth

September 17, 1880 - January 1, 1980


Harriet Whitney Frishmuth was a European-influenced American bronze master sculpture. She is most well known for her sensitive and elegant renderings of dancing female forms. Frishmuth was born in Pennsylvania in 1880; when she was in her teens, her mother moved her and her sisters to Europe for eight years. There she studied under Rodin at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and Euchtriz in Berlin. Significant developments of the Beaux-Arts sculptors had been the revival of the Renaissance masters and new-found popularity in bronze decorative sculptures in the gardens of wealthy estates. The Beaux-Arts style described the complex Parisian-influenced art of the period. Upon her return to the United States, she studied at the Art Students League of New York under Gutzon Borglum and Hermon Atkins MacNeil. During this time in New York, she became the assistant to Karl Bitter and performed dissections at the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Frishmuth exhibited her art internationally; one of her last exhibits happened in 1929 in New York City. After decades after being artistically active in the art world, she was forced to close her New York studio in the 1930s due to the Great Depression and moved back to Philadelphia.

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