Edward Clark Potter


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Sculptor. Chiefly interested in animal imagery, he remains best known for the paired marble lions (1910–11) guarding the Fifth Avenue approach to the New York Public Library. Although initially criticized as insufficiently regal, they have come to be regarded with great affection among New York's most familiar landmarks. As a specialist in horses, Potter collaborated with Daniel Chester French on three important equestrian monuments and executed five on his own. Besides animals, he produced portraits and other figural works. Potter was born in New London, Connecticut. He attended Amherst (Massachusetts) College for three semesters before heading to Boston in 1879 to study art. In 1883 he became French's studio assistant. After two years he moved to Vermont to work at a marble quarry and oversee cutting of his mentor's work. In 1886 he departed for Paris, where he studied with figure sculptor Antonin Mercié and animal specialist Emmanuel Frémiet. After his return to the United States in 1890, he settled in Enfield, north of Hartford, Connecticut. Soon he was at work with French on several major groups for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. During the subsequent decade, as he and French produced their joint equestrian monuments, his independent career also flourished. In 1902 he moved permanently to Greenwich, Connecticut. He died at his summer home in New London.

Subjects: Art.

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