Crunelle, Louis(French/American, 1872-1944)
Born in Lens, France in 1872, Leonard Crunelle immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of ten. Crunelle brought his proclivity for sculptural art-making to his work in the coal mines; he began to use coal as a medium for carving sculptural pieces. Sculptor Lorado Taft witnessed such works during a Midwestern lecture tour, met Crunelle, and encouraged him to study at the Art Institute of Chicago. Such began a life-long mentorship; during 1892-1893, Crunelle assisted Taft at the Chicago World’s Fair Studio, and later served as a member of the Taft Studio group. When Taft died in the midst of completing his work for the George Washington-Robert Morris-Haym Salomon Monument, Crunelle finished the piece, acting as “Taft’s disciple and fellow colonist.” His many commissions include Lincoln memorials—Lincoln the Soldier in Dixon and Lincoln the Debater in Freeport, and a bronze statuette of Lincoln exhibited in a place of honor at Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield, Illinois; the Lewis and Clark Memorial, Bismark, North Dakota; the Oglesby Memorial, Lincoln Park, Chicago; four fountain figures in the Grant Park Rose Garden—Crane Girl, Dove Girl, Fisher Boy and Turtle Boy—Chicago; the Palmer Memorial in the Illinois State Capitol Complex.
Works Cited:
Call, Keith. Oregon, Illinois. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2005.
Falk, Peter, ed. Who Was Who in American Art 1564-1975: 400 Years of Art in America. Madison: Sound View Press, 1999.
Optiz, Glenn B, ed. Mantle Fielding’s Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers. Pughkeepsie: Apollo, 1986.
Volkmann, Carl. “Lincoln the Debater.” From the “Northern Illinois University Archives,” http://www.ulib.niu.edu/reghist/Uarchives.cfm

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