Frederick Warren Allen

AMERICAN SCULPTOR, BOSTON SCHOOL

Primeval Prayer, an F.W.Allen Statuette “is attracting universal attention at the exhibit by the Guild of Boston Artists,” announces the Boston Journal, May 26, 1915. One of four bronzes by Allen shown in nine American cities, Prayer received words of praise from most reviewers, conflicted by the incoming Modern Art shown in the Armory Show the previous year in Boston and New York. “In keeping his idea big, the sculptor has, by the elimination of needless detail, shown in clay the elemental force that, coupled with man’s indomitable spirit, has made possible our civilization,” writes the critic. Verne Swanson, Director of the Springville Museum of Art in Utah and an authority on the sculpture of this period, commented when handling the bronze, that it would have been very comfortable in the Armory Show. He, too, noticed the power present in the form and the simplification of details that made it modern, while still rooted in the classical tradition of the Boston School.

War Memorial, Dedham, MA across from Fairbanks HouseOriginal Drawing Submitted for the CompetitionDedham War Memorial Clay Model
“Peace,” reads the inscription, the idealistic goal of war. The committee concluded, “The monument is unique and individual in design. It is impressive and will serve to make us better Americans, better men, better women.” It will be a constant reminder that lives were lost “to the end that liberty may be enjoyed by all Americans.”

A large crowd gathered for the dedication ceremony of a memorial erected to honor those Dedham soldiers who died in the service of their country in the World War. The crowd was “reminded the the monument was for the people of Dedham, for those who had passed on, and those who were to follow.” (Dedham Transcript May 22, 1931)

A committee had been named who gave the project two years of thought and discussion, finally choosing a design by Frederick Warren Allen. Working with architect C. Howard Walker on the final stone tower on which the memorial would be carved and the details of the figure, a final compromise was reached. The committee chairman concluded that “The monument is unique and individual in design, he said, and something that cannot be easily copied by other towns.”

Patriotism was strong and the American spirit craved expression of the ideals of courage, bravery, service and sacrifice for one’s country that memorials like this Dedham World War Memorial provided. “It is impressive and will serve to make us better Americans, better men, better women.” It will be a constant reminder that lives were lost “to the end that liberty may be enjoyed by all Americans.”

PAX reads the inscription, the idealistic goal of war. Victory and triumph are ours, indicates the raised arm and the palm branch. After the horrors of war, these hopeful symbols are uplifting. Allen believed that if a sculpture is perfect and beautiful in itself, it uplifts the viewer and gives a feeling of comfort. Just the composition itself can give a sensation of harmony and balance.

The original design was more ambitious. Budget constrictions required a smaller memorial. The stone tower drawn by Allen was larger and more complicated in its stepped panels. The figure was more detailed, more serious in demeanor and more complex in its draping. The details on the architectural elements were more complex. The inscription was changed from “Pax Victis” or “Peace Victorius” to simply Pax, Peace.

Consulting Architect, Charles Howard Walker

The ancient god of wild nature, Pan playing his reed pipe, sits by the water of a birdbath. Frederick W. Allen, Sculptor

The great god Pan, god before the gods of Olympus, the god of shepherds and wild nature, part man and part goat with hooves and horns, a musical god who plays reed pipes, a god of “unpredictable, animalistic energy.” (Wally Gobetz, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
The closest image from antiquity to Allen’s Pan is an ancient roman marble statue from the 1st or 2nd century A.D. in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Wally Gobitz No doubt he had seen it in his study of antique sculptures and is referencing it here. He may even have drawn it in class. The stylistic goatee and hair are similar and classical. However, he has taken liberties in his depiction of the cloven hooves, making them ridged and overly large.

An ancient Roman white marble statue of Pan from the 1st or 2nd century A.D. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Note beard style used on Pan by F.W. Allen.

Goats are natural climbers and here Allen has the goat god perched on a rocky outcropping above the shallow bathing area for the birds. His piping has attracted three frogs, which sit on either side of him and at his “feet” ready to jump into the water. All around him are branches and ferns, some of which look natural and alive judging by the vibration of the photo and the dried leaves on some of the branches. Other elements, such as the three or four tufts of wide-bladed reed grass and the one fern branch on the left of his seat appear to be sculpted of clay. The edges of the bath look as if they were roughed in with pinches and chunks of wet clay, cut with sculpting tools and spread with his thumbs to look like the rocky bank of a pond. He is, after all, a nature god and here he is in the midst of it.

Excerpt from Pan Birdbath by Frederick Warren Allen, Sculptor, to show details of the central figure.

There is money in the water, so this photo may have been taken in a public place, perhaps an art show. No notes have been found to provide any clues and the location of the sculpture is unknown.

Pan himself sits with his curly and somewhat matted furry thighs spread apart with the hooves on different height stones. The indentation formed by the tendon above his heel where it connects to the dewclaw is anatomically correct as is the rest of his figure. He appears to have fur on his arms as well, but none on his forehead as is sometimes seen. His hands are only suggested where they hold the banded flute made of three pipes of decreasing lengths. His bare torso is well muscled, leaning away from the vertical and to the side in an S-curve that extends from the top of his head, down along his upper back and shoulder and around again through the thigh and lower leg. The hair on his head, the pointed ears and horns all curl up and forward making a crescent with his long upward curving stylized goatee. He lifts the reed pipe before him with both hands and blows with his cheeks bellowing out to make his music. His eyes are large and slanted upward giving him a devilish look as images of him often symbolize. It’s a whimsical and magical place for a bird to perch and be entertained by the sweet pipes of pan.

Clay imaginative study

Leaping Fish, c. 1960

November 26, 2015

A beautiful sea creature, here created from the rich imagination of an artist. Its forked tailfin rises high above its head as it dives into the waves. Still swimming elegantly in the air with the narrow flexible body swishing from side to side, its spiny dorsal fin is raised like a sail with a scalloped [...]

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Tree Trunk Figure, 1960

November 26, 2015

What a humorous use of a piece of wood! Here was a figure lying on the ground just waiting for an artist to bring it to life. Up in North Haven, Fred Allen would often walk the beach looking for shapes that suggested a sculpture. And he was mischievous, so with this opportunity to be [...]

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Pegasus, abt 1960

November 22, 2015

Created in the year before his winter death behind his home at the edge of the White Mountains in Rumney, New Hampshire, the retired master teacher was sculpting for his own pleasure. His granddaughter fondly remembers him standing outdoors in the good weather applying clay to the chicken wire armature he had built on a [...]

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Dolphin and Neptune Fountain Base, c. 1913

November 22, 2015

Powerful Neptune, brother of Jupiter and Pluto, god of the sea, had a reputation for having a violent temper. He was often depicted in Renaissance art as a bearded man with long wild hair holding a trident, accompanied by stylized dolphin fish. Those three motifs can be seen here in what is most likely a [...]

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The Fisherman, 1959

November 16, 2015

Fishing and lobstering was a major source of income for the islanders of North Haven where Allen and his family had spent all of their summers since 1914. His descendants still enjoy the beautiful costal environment and the views across Penobscott Bay to the Camden Hills from cozy little Bartlett’s Harbor on the Western side [...]

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Viking, 1960

November 16, 2015

Those were the days when Allen participated in the summer art shows of the North Haven Art Association, acting for several years as its president around his retirement years. It is likely that Viking, in addition to the Tree Trunk and the Fisherman, was a piece he produced for the show. They were all meant [...]

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Art Student, 1927

November 16, 2015

“Ain’t She Sweet,” a song that was published the year this portrait was modeled, was a hit song that typified the Roaring Twenties and became a standard in the repertoire of popular music. “Oh me oh my, ain’t that perfection!” This portrait is sweet perfection. Short-cropped hair replaced the long tresses of the Victorian Era. [...]

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Eliza Gardner Vanderveer Hathaway, 1919

November 16, 2015

Eliza Vanderveer was related to the Dutch Quakers who found refuge from religious persecution on the land in Long Island Sound. They sought out quiet uninhabited areas to be alone to practice what they believed. The islands allowed them to separate themselves from mainstream. New Bedford and the area along the shores of New England [...]

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Evans Children, 1919

November 16, 2015

Nathaniel Hathaway of the prominent New Bedford family was the grandfather of these two beautiful children, Silvia and Margaret. Fred Allen had been invited to their Philadelphia home to visit and have photographs taken in preparation for modeling the family portraits. The home he visited in Germantown was at one time a “safe house” for [...]

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Nathaniel Hathaway, 1918

November 16, 2015

Squinting into the fog at the wheel of his boat, Commodore Nathaniel Hathaway (1858-1916 ) peers forward, intent on guiding his craft to its destination. His big hand holds a grip of his wooden spoke wheel as he leans toward his right, his large frame bent to the task. The strength of his character shows [...]

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Gladiator Victor, about 1916

November 16, 2015

“Gladiatorial combat was a display of nerve and skill. The gladiator, worthless in terms of civic status, was paradoxically capable of heroism.” Harvard Professor Kathleen Coleman http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/gladiators_01.shtml The slaying of gladiators was regarded as a normal form of entertainment in ancient Rome. They were slaves with masters who fed and trained them well and attended [...]

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Seven Medallions

November 10, 2015

“At last I am sending off the last of the medallions…I could only make 2 or 3 at a time…Very few of them came out perfect. The old medallion shells had some nicks in them that came out as bumps on the casts, and sometimes air bubbles formed at the surface that had to be [...]

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Roslindale War Memorial Design, 1920 scale model

November 8, 2015

“The day of the tin-hat soldier in granite or bronze is past. But the day of memorials is not past, and never will be. We shall always be eager to commemorate brave deeds, whether of peace or war. War rouses a whole people more than any other single thing does, and so results in a [...]

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Nancy Richmond, relief, 1918

November 8, 2015

A sculptor studies the skull to start a portrait. There is always something distinctive. As a child grows, the top of the head and the forehead become smaller in relationship to the face. As the bones mature the features become elongated and more defined. The neck becomes longer and the fullness in the face is [...]

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Etheldreda Hovey Klyce/Kleis, 1917

November 8, 2015

Etheldreda Downing Hovey (1880-1917) was the wife of Horace Scudder Klyce (Americanized from Kleis), a controversial philosopher, scientist and Naval officer. She was one of 5 children, the daughter of Henry Emerson Hovey and Sarah Louise Folsom. Her only brother, Charles Emerson Hovey, died at age 26 in the Philippines while serving in the U.S.Navy [...]

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Ensign Charles Emerson Hovey, 1918

November 6, 2015

There is a relationship between the portrait reliefs of Ensign Charles Emerson Hovey (1885-1911) and Etheldreda Downing Hovey Klyce (1880-1917) both by family and by date. William W. Howells, the grandson of the celebrated novelist and editor, William Dean Howells, a good friend of Mark Twain, was married to Muriel Gurdon Seabury who was the [...]

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Henry Ware Clarke, 1919

November 4, 2015

Henry Ware Clark (1893-1918) was a war hero, a Second Lieutenant in the First Division of the Sixteenth Infantry killed in action by shrapnel in Cantigny, France on May 28, 1918. An eye-witness recounts, “He was commanding a platoon of machine guns, and putting on indirect fire during the attack, and he had not been [...]

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Duck Boy, about 1924

November 4, 2015

Cornelius K.G. Billings, one of the several wealthy men for whom he designed grand estates on the Gold Coast of Long Island, commissioned Guy Lowell to do two mansions. The first was the famous “Tryon Hall,” high above the Hudson River on the site of Fort Tryon (1907). The second was “Farnsworth” in Matinecock, Long [...]

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Eros, about 1924

November 4, 2015

Arthur Vining Davis, born raised and educated in Massachusetts was the enormously wealthy and controversial figure who built Alcoa into a giant. A very private person, he presented himself as a hard-working man and distinguished himself as a philanthropist. Guy Lowell designed an estate for him about 1922 on the Gold Coast of Long Island [...]

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Trinity Church Memorial Tablet, 1922

November 2, 2015

Recognized as one of the most significant of American buildings, Trinity Church was designed originally by Henry Hobson Richardson, one of the first two architects to graduate from l’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Returning to America expecting to make his mark, he decided that there should be a uniquely American architectural style and developed [...]

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Frog for Fountain, 1912

November 1, 2015

Allen sculpted at least three frogs, two were a pair of bookends and a third was found as a single clay amphibian sitting atop an attached clay base. His commissions list called it “Frog (large) for rock.” He mentions a frog fountain in his diary in 1912 in a list with the heading “Commissions beginning [...]

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Robert Archey Woods, 1927

November 1, 2015

Born into a family with an immigrant background, spiritual interests and a social conscience, Robert Archey Woods took the plight of the poor and disadvantaged to heart. After his father’s death when he was just a young man of fifteen, he turned to his mother, herself an Irish immigrant, for advice. Education was important to [...]

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Kershaw Estate, “Merrywood,” Marlborough, NH.

October 5, 2015

The Kershaw estate has a tantalizing history with a murder involved. For that story, read online or in print the story of Stone Pond, A Personal History by William D. Eddy, The Plain White Press, 1988. Included are the stories of the opulent and mysterious George Bigelow Chase, a Boston and Dedham Episcopalian. Next the [...]

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Francis Stewart Kershaw, 1930

October 5, 2015

“He was a tall, well-dressed, dignified man. He had a well-waxed mustache and a Van Dyke beard and wore glasses. He was proud of the ownership of Merrywood and kept it always looking neat and well-tended. He was somewhat autocratic, as was his wife. He was very much respected and well-liked by all.” (From Stone [...]

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BSO Commemorative Medal, 1931

October 3, 2015

Medallic and numismatic art is one that combines artistry and technical skill. Not only was Allen trained in the technicalities of this art as a teenager in the jewelry factories of Attleboro, but he was also trained in the artistry of the work by Bela Lyon Pratt, one of the two foremost numismatists of the [...]

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Dog’s Head, after 1933

October 3, 2015

What a charming little pup! Fred Allen enjoyed animals of all kinds and had a family dog that he loved to tease by putting peanut butter on the roof of her mouth. He had a favorite pooch as a youth, a big white bulldog named Prinnie and missed her terribly after she died. Not a [...]

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Horse’s Head

October 2, 2015

Stone is plentiful along the coast of Maine, perfect for a sculptor who likes to be inspired in his work by nature. In the summers, Frederick Allen sculpted for his own pleasure, using for materials the granite and greenstone of North Haven found on the beach of Bartlett’s Harbor on North Haven Island, his summer [...]

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Owl, c.1939

September 28, 2015

One of two reviewers commented in the Boston Sunday Post, Aug 20, 1939, “Frederick W. Allen, well-known not only as a gifted sculptor but as an excellent teacher, is represented by four notable pieces, a delightfully decorative owl, somewhat stylized, an elephant of granite, greatly simplified but decidedly convincing, a small head study in granite, [...]

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Head of a Young Girl, c.1939-1957

September 28, 2015

‘Head of a Young Girl’ was kept in profile upon the sill of the stained glass window crafted by Connick, in Allen’s Tavern Road studio. Filtered through the gold and browns, the outside light fell upon the head giving it a quality of mystery. “Like the other stones, he came back to it after a [...]

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Head of a Little Girl, date unknown

September 28, 2015

Made from a granite North Haven beach stone, the whole “pebble” can be clearly seen here with the water-darkened exterior showing from the base of the neck to the top of the head and along the front at the bridge of the nose. A few lines are cut back above the girl’s forehead to indicate [...]

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Face with a Broken Nose, approx after 1933

September 28, 2015

Here is a perfect example of what happens when the sculptor hits a place in the crystalline structure of a stone that fractures a piece off completely and so badly mars the design that there is no choice but to discontinue. Having been discarded, this interesting face found a place to live in the Allen’s [...]

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Frederick Graham Allen, 1936

September 23, 2015

In this portrait, Frederick Graham was a boy of about 12. He was the fourth child, born February 2, 1923 when the family was still living in Brookline. In 1936 they were living and going to school in Concord and spending summers in North Haven. Father Allen wasn’t keeping his diary and hadn’t been since [...]

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Alfred Mills Uhler, 1925-1935

September 23, 2015

Found in the basement of Agnes Allen’s home, this portrait was of the Allen’s friend Alfred Uhler from Concord, MA. Al and his wife would come over to play cards in the evening with Fred and Agnes, so they enjoyed a pleasant friendship. Kathleen, who was a fine pianist, became more involved with the family [...]

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Woodrow Wilson, 1940

September 23, 2015

“He was an American of Americans. He was a patriot whose patriotism was tested by fire. With the possible exception of Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson was the keenest analytical mind that has ever occupied the White House. With the possible exceptions of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, he stands without a peer as a patriot [...]

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Jane McIntosh Allen, 1949

September 23, 2015

It was an exciting year for the Allen family. Both boys married. Gordon the older of the two was the first, joined in May to Jane McIntosh of New York City (1920-2014). A pretty, smart girl, she had already graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1942 when she met her future husband, a medical student [...]

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Charles Jay Connick, between 1924-1933

September 21, 2015

May 27, 1933 Dear Connick: I saw at the Boston Art Club, a bust of you carved in wood. I think I have never seen a more perfect likeness of anyone in any medium. I think it is a marvelous thing. Allen certainly deserves enormous credit for the artistic qualities of it and you are [...]

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Angel Candleholder, 1947

September 21, 2015

For a man without religious convictions, Frederick Allen made the most beautiful angels! Much like his depictions of children, the face on this little angel is sweet and blissful. It is a decorative piece as a candle holder, and as such is easy to look at day after day with her lovely expression and childlike [...]

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John Wingate Weeks, 1931

September 4, 2015

Without John Wingate Weeks (1860-1926) we would not have the White Mountain National Forest. The Weeks Act was signed into law in 1911. Since that date nearly 20 million acres of forestland have been protected. “No single law has been more important in the return of the forests to the eastern United States” than the [...]

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Pegasus Medallion, 1929

September 4, 2015

“Pegasus, the medallion which has been modeled for the new Harvard Advocate building by Frederick W. Allen, head of the department of sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. The winged horse of ancient mythology has been the symbol of the collegiate society ever since its foundation in 1886.” The Harvard Advocate [...]

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John Bradley Storrs, 1913

March 31, 2013

Portrait relief modeled in Paris in 1913 in clay, bronze cast believed to have been made, size unknown but approximately life size, location unknown, unsigned. Photograph taken in Paris in 1913, identified on back side with Storrs name, date and photographer. A death mask of Storr’s mother was taken in Paris in 1913 by Allen, [...]

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C. Arnold Slade, 1913

May 9, 2011

Bas-relief portrait, 13.5 in x 11.25 in, Cast in plaster and bronze, Exhibited at the Guild of Boston Artists 1913 Attleboro, Massachusetts was the connecting link between these two artists and their wives. Both couples stayed connected to Attleboro over the years, visiting their parents who continued to live there. Caleb Arnold Slade had been [...]

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Self-Portrait Bust, 1919

May 8, 2011

Portrait busts are the bread and butter of an artist. When times are good, the advantaged want images of their loved ones passed, when they’re proud they want something to brag about, when they want to demonstrate appreciation the gift of a portrait is a perfect way to show it, when someone is important and [...]

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Crippled Frog Bookends, Bronze, 1914

May 8, 2011

When Frederick Allen was in Paris in 1914, he studied with Paul Wayland Bartlett at the Academie Colarossi. Bartlett was well known for his realistic Beaux Arts style animal sculptures which he cast himself in bronze using the lost-wax process and colored with experimental patinas of his own creation. He learned to draw and sculpt [...]

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Boston Public Library War Memorial, Bronze, 1924

May 2, 2011

“It was a clear Sunday morning with a hint of winter in the air. In the courtyard, the Library choristers who had arried early, and without hats, shivered a little. The draped flag between the windows attracted many of the curious. At eleven, library officials, committee members, and guests entered the courtyard, which by then [...]

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Charles L. Eustis, Bronze, 1922

May 1, 2011

Charles Lyman Eustis must have been one of those legendary Maine characters, fiercely independent and self sufficient, living off the land, working hard, fishing and hunting for his dinner and working from dawn to dusk. At the young age of 20 he had enough of a pioneering spirit to move up from Lewiston to the [...]

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Abraham Lincoln, Bronze, 1922

May 1, 2011

Who would have known that Abraham Lincoln‘s lineage goes back to the 1630′s in New England? His son, Robert Todd Lincoln did and, attaching a sentimental value to those origins, funded this very fine memorial to his father to be placed in the New England Historic Genealogical Society‘s building when it was at Ashburton Place [...]

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Sliding Images – Sculptural Legacy

April 17, 2011

Title: Pratt’s Hawthorne Blue: Original clay 1912 Yellow: Allen assisted modeling Title: Shuman ’18 Blue: Bas Relief Yellow: St.Gaudens Style Title: The Wave. 1914 Blue: Rodin inspired Yellow: Ref:Oceanides/Andromeda Title: Pediment & Acroteria Blue: Paul Bartlett,Teacher Yellow: Inspired Amer. Renaissance Title: W.I.Cole 1927 Blue: Like C.Grafly Yellow: Portrait Bust Master Title: John Wingate Weeks Blue: [...]

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Senator James P. Timilty, 1937

March 12, 2011

“With tools of loyalty and understanding he carved himself a niche in our community,” reads the inscription under the portrait relief of Senator James P. Timilty (1865-1921) that was unveiled at the dedication of the new Timilty Middle School in Roxbury, MA in 1937. Mayor Malcolm Mansfield, Police Commissioner Timilty, and Chairman Sullivan of the [...]

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Boston Mayors Peters, Nichols and Mansfield, 1921-1937

March 12, 2011

Andrew J. Peters (1872-1938) was the 42nd Mayor of Boston when his portrait was cast in bronze by Frederick Warren Allen in 1921. His term ended the next year, but he liked the plaque so well that he ordered one for himself! Notice in the enlargement the realistic details of the bushy eyebrows, the thin [...]

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Abraham Shuman, bronze, 1918

March 7, 2011

“Far seeing merchant, citizen, sage, counsellor and administrator, constant friend of humanity,” reads the inscription. Abraham Shuman was a philanthropist who made his fortune in the clothing business and helped the poor by donating generously to the Boston City Hospital. He served on the City Hospital Board of Trustees for fifteen years, part of that time [...]

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Head of a Man, modern? primitive?

March 6, 2011

A departure from his typical style, one can only imagine that this primitive style carving was done just for the fun of it. His assistant, Elizabeth MacLean Smith remembers that, “It was only when most of his children had grown up that he had time to spend carving granite boulders for his own pleasure and [...]

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A Mermaid for Frank Benson, after 1933

March 6, 2011

From the waters of Bartlett’s Harbor on North Haven Island in Maine sprang a beautiful mermaid who wanted to be immortalized in stone and live on land. Frederick Warren Allen caught her and granted her wish, placing her in the lovely garden of his friend the painter, Frank W. Benson, where she could still see [...]

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LeBaron Russell Briggs, marble and bronze, 1934 and 1937

March 6, 2011

A death masque was taken on April 26, 1934 of LeBaron Russell Briggs (1855-1934) by the sculptor Frederick Warren Allen. “He was an important man!” remembers the eldest Allen daughter. A big committee had been formed at Harvard College to choose an artist to create a likeness of their beloved Dean and representatives of the [...]

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Torso, Greenstone, est.1938

March 4, 2011

Conner – Rosenkranz, premier dealers of 19th and 20th Century American sculpture in New York City and authors of Rediscoveries in American Sculpture, Studio Works, 1893-1939, didn’t discover Frederick Warren Allen until fairly recently when they were presented with the North Haven Greenstone  torso for auction. In a conversation with Allen’s granddaughter, they told her they [...]

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Elephant, gray granite, abt 1938, 3 resin copies abt 1964

March 4, 2011

On a summer day on North Haven Island in Maine, Frederick Warren Allen was rowing the family dinghy in Bartlett’s Harbor in front of their cottage with his son, also named Frederick. As the twosome peered over the side of the boat into the water, father Allen spotted a large granite boulder. “There is an [...]

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Egyptian Head, gray granite, 1938

March 4, 2011

“This is the piece by which I would like to be remembered.” Carved in gray North Haven granite from the island he loved, the mature artist, Frederick Warren Allen had finally found his best expression. S0lid and heavy like the stone, possessing strength at it’s core and emotional power in it’s expression, stripped of excess, [...]

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The Wave, bronze, abt 1914

February 27, 2011

Inspired by Auguste Rodin? Very likely. Frederick Warren Allen was studying and sculpting in Paris in 1914 when Rodin was still alive (1840-1917). He spent many hours drawing in the museum galleries, taking special note of the new modern sculpture being shown there, especially at the Luxembourg Museum where Rodin was on exhibit. Before his [...]

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Carl N. Van Ness, bronze, abt 1920

February 27, 2011

The summer residents on North Haven Island recognized that over in Bartlett’s Harbor there was a bohemian colony of artists. The two groups didn’t socialize much together, the artists being absorbed in their work and isolating themselves to allow their creative juices to flow. Of the artists who lived in the colony or visited there, [...]

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Head of a Woman, pink granite, abt 1959

February 26, 2011

“Got a few minutes? Let’s go look for rocks,” Lewis Haskell, the venerable North Haven Island native and historian remembers Fred Allen saying. They would walk along the shore and he would point to a stone and have Lewis look at it to see if he could see anything in it. Head of a Woman [...]

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Dean John P. Sutherland, BU School of Medicine, 1937

February 21, 2011

A bronze bas-relief portrait to honor Dr. John Preston Sutherland was presented the the Boston University School of Medicine by his students in the Evans Memorial Auditorium in the Fall of 1937. The sculptor, it was announced, was Frederick W. Allen. Boston University opened its first medical school (homeopathic) on November 5, 1873. By 1899, [...]

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Cole Family, Wheaton College, 1926-1928

February 20, 2011

It was the vision of Samuel Valentine Cole to make Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts a four-year college from a a seminary for women, and thus he became one of the most important figures in its history. Noticed by Mrs. Wheaton when still a minister, she appointed him as a trustee in 1893. He worked [...]

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Attleboro War Memorial, Capron Park, 1912

February 19, 2011

Frederick Warren Allen’s first commission for work! A bronze plaque to be placed in Capron Park in his hometown of Attleboro, Massachusetts. Won in a competition with the prestigious silver companies Gorham Co. and Reed and Barton Co. while he was still a student, the news of his victory was very exciting to the young [...]

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Keith Field Eagles, Brockton, MA, 1924

February 19, 2011

The entry gate to the Eldon Keith Field in Brockton, MA is guarded by a pair of fierce eagles poised for attack atop their watchtowers. Open beaks warn intruders to beware while their wings are ready to spread in flight. They perch on orbs visible high against the sky. Given by George Keith, Eldon’s father, [...]

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St. Francis Birdbath Garden Statue, Marlborough, NH, abt 1930

February 13, 2011

Behind and beside the tiny St. Francis Chapel on the Kershaw Estate called Merrywood in Marlborough, NH there is a grove of mountain laurel under a canopy of trees. The lovely waterfront scene is the setting for a natural memorial garden with St. Francis guarding three gravestones, two of which are for Francis Stewart Kershaw [...]

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Chapel of St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio, Marlborough, NH, 1926

February 13, 2011

The entry door to the St.Francis Chapel at the Kershaw Estate in Marlborough, New Hampshire takes you into a tiny sanctuary, still active for summer Episcopal services. Guests at the frequent weddings here approach the chapel under a bell attached to a stone arch onto a low-walled stone terrace overlooking Stone Pond. It has been [...]

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Crucifix, St. Francis Chapel, Marlborough, NH, 1926

February 13, 2011

Allen’s eldest daughter, Barbara, and her younger brother, Frederick, both have a childhood memory of their family making a trip to see a life sized crucifix that their father, Frederick W. Allen had made for the Kershaw Estate’s St. Francis Chapel in Marlborough, New Hampshire. Barbara remembers being very proud that her father had done [...]

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Nydia, 1913

January 12, 2011

Lovely Agnes, the wife of the sculptor, was the muse for this luscious portrait of Nydia, the blind heroine of Pompeii. In his diary, Frederick Warren Allen noted that this was the first of his ideal work exhibited and that the reviews had “brought many good words.” The exhibit he spoke about was the opening [...]

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Bernard M. Keyes, 1928

January 10, 2011

A painter, Bernard M. Keyes (1898-1973) was trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts where he was mentored by Frank W. Benson. He also studied at Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum where he was awarded a traveling scholarship. Upon his return in 1922 he began to teach painting classes at the SMFA. Allen [...]

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Torso, 1914

January 9, 2011

Alternately called Torso of a Dancing Girl this beautiful little figure was also carved twice in marble. Three bronze casts were made using the lost wax process and finished with a green patina. Presently one marble original is in the Concord Art Association, and one in the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine.one bronze is in [...]

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Frank Weston Benson, 1923

January 9, 2011

Frank Weston Benson (1862 – 1951) This amazing bas relief of Allen’s colleague Frank W. Benson is only 1.9 cm. That’s 3/4 of an inch! The coin-sized medallion was a gift of the Barbarossa family to the Museum of Fine Arts. F.W.Allen’s skill in creating such definition in such low relief and in such a small [...]

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George Washington Monument, Fall River, MA, 1942

December 27, 2010

The Catholic children of the diocese in Fall River collected their pennies to pay for the erection of what was heralded as being one of the most beautiful George Washington monuments and “of such artistic merit and patriotic intent as to attract nation-wide interest,” reported the local paper on October  8, 1942. The monument was [...]

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Church of the Advent, Boston, MA, 1931

December 25, 2010

As a memorial to the men of the Church of the Advent who died in World War I, a stone sculpture was ordered to be placed over the West Portal of the Episcopal church on Beacon Hill in Boston, MA. The project was planned by Cram and Ferguson, architects. A gift of Charles H. Fiske, [...]

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MFA Evans Wing Granite Relief “Painting” 1914

December 25, 2010

In collaboration with Guy Lowell, Architect for Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Frederick Warren Allen was chosen by his Museum School teacher and mentor, Bela Pratt, who had won the commission, to sculpt one of three granite reliefs for the Fenway Facade of the new Evans Wing upon his return from studying in Paris in [...]

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New York County Supreme Courthouse, Manhattan, Acroteria Statues, abt 1924

December 18, 2010

The grand edifice housing the New York County Supreme Court in Manhattan was designed by Guy Lowell, Architect. He chose Frederick Warren Allen to create the sculptural elements to adorn the entrance to the building. Above the triangular pediment stand three acroteria, statues in-the-round on pedestals. Each is at least thirteen feet high. The central figure at the [...]

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New York County Courthouse Pediment, New York Supreme Court, abt 1924

December 15, 2010

Having won the confidence of Guy Lowell through collaboration on the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and several personal projects for the famous architect, Frederick Warren Allen won the competition to carry out the major project of designing a pediment and acroteria for Lowell’s important courthouse to be built in New York City on [...]

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