Willard N. Hirsch-Charleston Sculptor 1905-1982

This is Willard N. Hirsch standing by a maquette of his statue "Cassique of the Kiawah" in his Queen Street Studio in Charleston in 1979.

He was a contemporary of the artists William Halsey and Corrie McCallum in the Charleston arts community from 1944-1982. Mr. Hirsch studied at the Beaux Arts Institute and the National Academy of Design in New York City during the 1930's. He returned to his native city of Charleston and completed numerous public and institutional sculpture projects in SC from 1942 until his death in 1982.

His works are included in the collections of Brookgreen Gardens, The SC State Museum,The Gibbs Museum of Art, Clemson University, The SC State University, The College of Charleston, The City of Charleston ( White Point Gardens and The Gaillard Auditorium), Charleston County Public Library System, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Ashley Hall School, and the SC National Guard (bas-relief sculptures on Armory buildings statewide) to name a few.

For many years, he worked and taught out of his Queen Street studio in Charleston.

His sculpture lessons for children progressed from modeling a snail out of rolled and coiled clay, to modeling a turtle and finally an elephant figure in plasticine.
Mr. Hirsch taught anatomical accuracy in these lessons being sure that the snails shell coiled in the correct direction and the pattern on the turtle shell was true to life. His amusing stories brought smiles to his young students faces and life to his figures.

One of his best known and loved works is the"Little Dancer" on the Battery at White Point Gardens.




Another favorite work is his bronze stature, "The Falling Angel" which used to be on display in front of the Gibbs Museum of Art Gallery School, where he taught for several years with William Halsey and Corrie McCallum before the three artists formed their own private art school, The Charleston School of Art for instruction in drawing, painting, and sculpture.

I had the privilege of working for Mr. Hirsch as his studio assistant from 1979 to 1981.

Mr. Hirsch taught me modeling portraits and figures from life in clay and plasticine, armature construction, plaster casting, along with many great stories.

He was a world class story teller, as anyone who had the good fortune to know him will agree. There was never a day he wouldn't greet his clients with a smile and a great story.

His unique personality and talent remain with us in his many impressive works and in the memory of those who knew him. There hasn't been another sculptor in modern Charleston to match his accomplishments.

3 comments:

Libby Hamilton said...

Kay,
You are fabulous! I'm so glad to have been introduced to your artwork.

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

Thanks, Libby. Glad you like my art work. See you Saturday.

Katherine Muschick Schneider said...

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