Marguerite and William
Zorach, 1919

William Zorach

Road to Georgetown; watercolor, 1927

The Artist's Statement
"There are things one does for the pure love of form and color, in the easy abandonment to the moods and the fancies of the moment. These are my watercolors.

"Then there are the visions imprisoned in the rock and the visions deep in one's soul - the things one does in seeking for the inner rhythms of nature and life. In the journeys into the unknown region where one can grasp only mystic fragments from the great subconscious that surrounds us. There is much of pain and exhalation in creative work. A resistless, relentless power that makes one ever create. This is my sculpture...“It’s a sort of inner vision. It is seeing with a spirit that is timeless. It is love that is felt so intensely that the artist has to record it to give it back to humanity; for love is not only getting but giving.”

From Art Is My Life by William Zorach, The World Publishing Co., 1967, p.167.

Mother & Child, marble

Spirit of the Dance, aluminum, 1932

Sunrise; woodcut, c.1916

The Island; color linocut, 1916

The Prayer
; mahogany, 1956

William Zorach's Biography

William Zorach, oil by Dahlov Ipcar

Born 1889 in Lithuania.
Family immigrated to Port Clinton and then to Cleveland, OH - 1891

Married Marguerite Thompson when they moved permanently to New York City - 1912

Son Tessim born 1915
Daughter Dahlov born 1917

The Zorach family spent winters in New York City and summers in New Hampshire, Chappaqua, NY; Provincetown, MA; and Stonington, ME.

In 1923 they purchased a farm in Robinhood, ME on Georgetown Island.

William died in Bath, Maine, November 15, 1966

William Zorach, Avignon, 1910

Art Studies
Worked as a lithographer's apprentice as a young man in Cleveland, OH.
Took night classes at Cleveland School of Art - 1907

Studied at The National Academy of Design in New York City -1908

Moved to Paris in 1910.
Took painting classes with John Duncan Fergusson and Jacques-Emile Blanche at La Palette, where he met Marguerite Thompson.

Experimented with direct carving both wood and stone - 1918.

Gave up painting in oils in 1922 though he continued to do watercolors.

William Zorach - W10th St. NYC

William Zorach, along with his wife Marguerite, was among the handful of avant-garde artists who revolutionized the New York art scene beginning with works exhibited in the now famous 1913 Armory show. A committed Fauvist while in Paris, William moved on to experiment with Cubism. He was regarded as a founder of the early American Modernism movement.

His early oils were bold in conception, whether Fauvist or Cubist. His watercolors portrayed his love of countryside: the colorful palette of a New England seacoast village nestled against pine covered hills or a lone lobster boat making its slow way home into the mouth of the Kennebec. Nature served as the inspiration for his sculpture, both direct carvings in marble as well as granite or bronze castings.

Throughout his long career, William was always the teacher, whether at the Art Students League in New York City or writing books such as Zorach Explains Sculpture. If there was a joint exhibition of artists' works to pull together, one would always find William Zorach at the center of the storm, cleaning up spaces, coordinating deliveries, and churning out publicity and posters.

William & Marguerite Zorach, Deer Isle, ME

In his later life, he devoted himself to public sculpture both on buildings as well as dynamic fountains such as his bronze Olympic Runner in Kiener Plaza, Saint Louis, MO and his Spirit of the Sea in Bath, ME.

1911 - Enrolls at La Palette, in Paris where he meets fellow art student, Marguerite Thompson, who later becomes his wife.
1913 - Exhibited two works at the ground breaking Armory Show in New York City
1916 - Exhibited in The Forum Exhibition of Modern American Painters
1916 - Designed and painted scenery for the Provincetown Players.
1927 - Exhibits with Edith Halpert’s Downtown Gallery, New York
1952 - Metropolitan Museum of Art purchases granite Mother & Child
1959 - Whitney Museum of American Art with retrospective exhibition

Received D.F.A. from Bates College, Lewiston, ME, 1964
Elected to National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1953
Winner Logan Medal of the Arts


Taught 30 years at the Art Students League, NYC
Founding member of the Sculptor's Guild
Lectured on sculpture at Columbia University

Visiting Artist at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME.

William Zorach in Maine, carving his
Seated Dancer

Public Spaces
The Runner - bronze fountain piece, Kiener Plaza, St Louis, IL.
Spirit of the Sea - bronze fountain, Bath, ME.
Spirit of the Dance - aluminum sculpture, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY
Limestone Relief - Municipal Court, New York, NY
Builders of the Future,1939 World's Fair, (duration)
Relief - Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Ben Franklin, statue, U.S. Post Office, Washington, D.C.

Relief - Farleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J.

U.S. Post Office, Stoneham, MA
US Post Office, Greenville, TN
US Post Office, Washington, DC

William Zorach, Maine studio

Permanent Collections
(* searchable collection;enter william zoarch)
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME*
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME*

Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DEL*
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME*
Fleming Museum, Burlington, VT

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio TX
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Gallery, Washington DC
National Museum of American Art, Washington DC
National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole WY

Philips Collection, Wilmington, DE *
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME

Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia
Snite Museum, University Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University Nebraska, Lincoln, NE*
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
he British Museum, London, England
University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Wichita Museum of Fine Art, Wichita, KS

William Zorach , Modern Art Foundry, 1964, by Bob Ipcar

Sample Biography

See Jessica Nicoll's "To Be Modern"
The Origins of Marguerite and William Zorach's Creative Partnership, 1911-1922 by Jessica Nicoll : Former Curator, Portland Museum of Art; now Director of the Smith College Museum of Art

Zorach works for sale at the Gerald Peters Gallery
For a small overview see William & Marguerite Zorach's gallery

Read more about William Zorach


Reproduced with permission of the Imogen Cunningham Trust