William Rush


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(b Philadelphia, 4 July 1756; d Philadelphia, 17 Jan. 1833).

American sculptor, active in Philadelphia. His father was a ship's carpenter and Rush worked mainly in wood, progressing from ships' figureheads to free-standing figures, such as those of Comedy and Tragedy (1808) for the new Chestnut Street Theater, Philadelphia (they are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art). His work is vigorous and naturalistic and he marks the transition from the unselfconscious folk carver to the professional artist. He was one of the prime movers in the foundation of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1805), which has many examples of his work. Thomas Eakins, another native of Philadelphia, greatly admired Rush's work.

Subjects: Art.

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