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New York Public Library screening of Daniel Chester French by Montes-Bradley

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Join us for a special event on Tuesday, June 27, 6-8 pm at the Jefferson Market Library, Willa Cather Room, New York, where we will celebrate the life and work of Daniel Chester French, and introduce new research by Eduardo Montes-Bradley on Attilio Piccirilli and his family of Italian American sculptors.

From the documentary film The Italian Factor by Montes-Bradley
Memory by Daniel Chester French

French (1850-1931) was best known for his 1874 sculpture The Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts, and his 1920 monumental statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was a leading figure of the American Renaissance, a period of artistic and cultural flourishing in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He designed over 200 monuments celebrating his era's American ideals and heroes. For more Information got to NYPL

Daniel Chester French documentary screening

We will screen the documentary Daniel Chester French: American Sculptor by Eduardo Montes-Bradley, which offers a fascinating portrait of the master artist through archival footage, interviews, and stunning visuals. The film also reveals the close collaboration between French and the Piccirilli brothers, a Bronx-based family of Italian sculptors who realized almost all of French's designs. The stone carvers used traditional techniques to transform artists' plaster or clay models into marble.

From the documentary film The Italian Factor by Montes-Bradley
The Piccirilli Family

We will also preview selected scenes of The Italian Factor, a film in progress that will focus on the relationship between Italian artists and the American Renaissance. The film will explore how the Piccirilli contributed to some of the most iconic sculptures in America, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the New York Public Library lions, the Washington Square Arch, and the Maine Memorial.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Montes-Bradley, who has written and directed over 40 documentary films available in academic and public libraries. He is best known for Black Fiddlers, Evita, The Other Madisons, and Rita Dove: American Poet.

The event will be presented by Eve Kahn, a former New York Times journalist, and author of Forever Seeing New Beauties: The Forgotten Impressionist Mary Rogers Williams.

Please consider your tax-deductible donation to The Italian Factor. Donate today online or by mailing your check to Documentary Film Fund: 1165 Owensville Road, Charlottesville, Virginia, 22901

A New York Landmark

The Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library, once known as the Jefferson Market Courthouse, is a National Historic Landmark located at 425 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), on the southwest corner of West 10th Street, in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, on a triangular plot formed by Greenwich Avenue and West 10th Street. It was originally built as the Third Judicial District Courthouse from 1874 to 1877, and was designed by architect Frederick Clarke Withers of the firm of Vaux and Withers. Read MORE

The New York Public Library
Jefferson Market Library, NYPL

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