Walter Hancock, 1901-1998
Walter Kirtland Hancock was born in 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri. He spent a year at the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, then moved on to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied closely with Charles Grafly, long considered the premier portrait sculptor in America. During and after World War II, as a captain in the Army, he led an effort to protect national treasures and historic monuments and to identify and reclaim art stolen by the Nazis.
In a career that nearly spanned the century, Mr. Hancock produced hundreds of realistic works, ranging from a 39-foot bronze angel in the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, which honors railroad employees killed in action in World War II, to a bust of former President George Bush in the Capitol, a monumental statue of James Madison in the Library of Congress, and a Christ figure in the central altar in the National Cathedral in Washington.
Extracts from an article by HUBERT B. HERRING