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Caestus, 1883–85

Caestus, 1883–85

Charles Henry Niehaus (1855 – 1935)

Charles Henry Niehaus, a sculptor, was born in Cincinnati in 1855. He learned stonecutting and marble carving before attending the McMicken School of Design in Cincinnati. Niehaus subsequently studied for four years (1877-81) at the Royal Academy in Munich, where he acquired a taste for the heavy, realistic style of the German academy. This tendency in his work was later modified by the Neo-Classicism he adopted while working in Rome in the 1880s. From the late 1880s until his death in 1935, Niehaus maintained a studio in New York City.

His work consists largely of portrait statues and busts, large monuments, and architectural sculpture, executed in a variety of materials and styles. Among his better-known commissions, are those for the bronze doors of New York’s Trinity Church, and for the Library of Congress. Niehaus also sculpted a series of statues for the Library of Congress as well as some for the Capitol and other sites in Washington, D.C.

His work was exhibited at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo (1901) and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri (1904), when his portrait statues were in demand. It has been noted that Niehaus’s sketches and models were often more appealing than the finished works, which demonstrated a rather stolid eclecticism.

Source: Matthew Baigell, “Dictionary of American Artists”
Peter Falk, “Who Was Who in American Art”

Biography from the Archives of AskART