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MARAFFI, Calder, Eakins, Influence Sculpture


26x29x18" A young boy happily rides the surf on the back of a seal, possibly spearfishing together. Luigi Maraffi was a student of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts from 1914 to 1922. He studied under Charles Grafly, who himself was taught by Alexander Milne Calder, Grafly honed his skills carving figurines on the Famous Philadelphia City Hall, under the direction of Calder. Eventually studying under Thomas Eakins at the Academy. PAFA considered Maraffi a crafts person and he became a fountain designer and sculptor, working in bas-relief on local buildings, & fountains. This gorgeous piece was aquired from Maraffis daughter about 10 years ago, when she was 90ish. He exhibited at the Academy in both 1914 and 1927, & it appears his work was on display for some 10 years collectively. This piece Maraffi sculpted out of Hydro-cal & was probably in the 1927 exhibit. It is showing Art Nouveau influences, & a touch of emerging Art Deco. Note the Harriet Frishmuth hair. As his daughter suggested, this is possibly a maquette for a fountain. Signed L. Maraffi, 27 Excellent condition. He never reached the levels of fame his teachers did, but a seasoned & creative sculpture he was. Below some info on his mentors. Grafly was born of German, Dutch and Quaker heritage and developed an interest in art at an early age. At 17 he was apprenticed to Struthers Stoneyard, at that time one of the largest stone carving ventures in the country. He spent the next four years working on the Philadelphia City Hall, carving decorations and figures under the direction of Alexander Milne Calder. In order to improve his skills at carving figures and to improve his understanding of anatomy he began attending art school, eventually studying under Thomas Eakins at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.In 1888 Grafly moved to Paris where he studied with Henri Chapu and Jean Dampt, and later gained admittance to the École des Beaux Arts, Paris. He received an Honorable Mention in the Paris Salon of 1891 for his "Mauvais Presage," now at the Detroit Institute of Art, a gold medal at the Paris Exposition, in 1900, and medals at the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Atlanta, 1895, and Philadelphia (the gold Medal of Honor, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), 1899.In 1892 he became instructor in sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, also filling the same chair at the Drexel University, Philadelphia. He was a founding member of the National Sculpture Society and was elected a full member of the National Academy of Design in 1905. The Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts houses about 20 of Graflys bronzes in its collection while the museum at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas possesses over two hundred of his works, mostly plaster casts. Among the many students Grafly taught were sculptors , Paul Manship, Louis Milione, Eugene Castello, Charles Harley, Nancy Coonsman, Walker Hancock, Albin Polasek and Albert Laessle. The latter two served as pall- bears at Graflys funeral following his tragic death, in which he was struck down and killed by a hit-and-run driver.   

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This product was added to our catalog on Tuesday 01 February, 2011.

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