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Contemporary (post 1945) Sculpture
(Kensington, England, April 9, 1900 - September 23, 1965, Claremont, CA)
Known for his metal-casted animal figures and architectural sculptures, Albert Stewart was a highly versatile sculptor active during the mid-20th century Southern California Regionalism period.
Stewart was born in London (Kensington District), England and moved to New York, United States with his grandfather in 1908. At the behest of Edwin Bechtel, an affluent connection via his grandfather, Stewart received financial assistance to enroll at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design and the Art Students League of New York in 1916. Although he would take a brief hiatus to volunteer for the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1918, he would earn his B.A. in Fine Arts in 1918. He commenced sculpting bronze and iron works for private commissions as early as 1920, with one of his most notable early transactions being the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s acquisition of Silver King, a bronze-casted sculpture, in 1925. Stewart would further develop his unique style with the help of famed sculptor Paul Manship between 1925 and 1930. Stewart’s last commissions before committing to teaching would be for the Seamen’s Memorial in New York City in 1930 and the Works Progress Administration-funded Department of Labor Building in Washington, D.C in 1935.
At the request of Scripps College art professor Millard Sheets and President Ernest Jaqua, Stewart accepted their offer to teach sculpting and develop the Art department in 1939. He continued to create original works for private and public clients, though several of his late works are present on Scripps’ campus including Eternal Primitive and Man and Nature, both created in 1965. He would teach a well-regarded traditional curriculum until his death in 1965 at the age of 65.