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Sculpting Beyond Borders: Local Identity and Transnational Mobility in the Age of Rodin

Fava-Piz, Clarisse (2021) Sculpting Beyond Borders: Local Identity and Transnational Mobility in the Age of Rodin. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The beginning of the twentieth century marked a high point in the production of public sculpture as Parisian-trained sculptors erected hundreds of monuments across cities in the Americas. Rejecting the prototypical commemorative statue of the valiant man on a pedestal, complex multi-figural groups with highly expressive gestures and ambiguous poses transformed the urban landscape not only in the United States, but also in Latin America. My dissertation examines the internationalization of modern sculpture in the Age of Rodin, and how some of the most ambitious sculptural projects in Argentina and the United States were created in a unique transnational space of artistic exchanges – the Paris Salons – amidst an environment of intense nationalist expectations and pressures. At the core of my argument, I redefine the Paris Salons as a vibrant transnational ecosystem in which ideas, themes, and sculptural motifs circulated with multidirectional channels of exchange. To this end, I argue that modern sculpture was borne not out of the mind of one man, Rodin, but grew out of the artistic creations of many in the Salons.
My study investigates the histories of sculptures made by the American George Grey Barnard, the Irish American Andrew O’Connor, and the Argentinian Rogelio Yrurtia, who chose France as their artistic home base at a time when national patronage systems remained crucial for financial stability. Although they designed monuments for the jury and critics of the Paris Salons, they needed to appeal to their domestic patrons, trying to meet, but also shape, the expectations of their commissioners across the Atlantic. Active in the Paris Salons, they participated in the creation of a modern language of sculpture that rejected neoclassical didacticism, and offered a new, more accessible experience of public sculpture. Through close examination of objects as mobile and transformative agents across borders, my research bridges the historiographical divide between monuments and gallery-sized sculptures, and reveals the process of transformation that modern sculptures underwent while moving from the gallery space of the Paris Salons to the public square abroad.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSavage,
Committee MemberDroth,
Committee MemberJosten,
Committee MemberMcCloskey,
Committee MemberTaylor, Alex
Date: 8 October 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 June 2021
Approval Date: 8 October 2021
Submission Date: 25 July 2021
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 434
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History of Art and Architecture
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sculpture; Nineteenth Century; Twentieth Century; Monument; Paris Salons; Barnard; Yrurtia; O’Connor; Rodin; American Art; Latin America; Argentina; Transnational Exchanges; Mobility; Identity; Nationalism
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2021 20:21
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2021 20:21


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