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"Honoring Henry Agard Wallace", Art Deco Bronze by Chambellan for B'nai B'rith

About the Item

Highly important both artistically and historically, this high style Art Deco bronze panel, full of symbolism and patriotic fervor, was commissioned by B'nai B'rith and sculpted by René Paul Chambellan to honor Vice President Henry Agard Wallace on the eve of America's entry into World War II. The panel is surmounted by a magnificent eagle, his wings outspread and his talons grasping a bundle of arrows. The body of the panel features a map of the Western hemisphere in low relief, with symbols of each continent's productivity -- factories, airplanes and an ocean liner for North America and sheaves of wheat and a herd of cattle for South America. To the left are an American shield paired with a torch and sword. This rich array of symbols signaled B'nai B'rith's intention to recognize "achievement in the furtherance of American hemispheric solidarity," personified in the work of Wallace, who served under President Roosevelt during the last several years of the War, ran for office under the banner of the Progressive Party years later, and was a strong supporter of the New Deal. This panel, which may be unique, was presented to Colonel A. Ralph Steinberg. Chambellan was one of the two or three most important sculptors creating bas relief panels, grills and other decorative elements for America's Art Deco buildings in the 1920s and 1930s. He is best known today for his work at Rockefeller Center in New York: a set of dolphin fountain heads, and a massive figure of Atlas in collaboration with Lee Lawrie. He was also a superb medalist, and is well known today for creating the Newbery medal (for excellence in children's literature) and the Caldecott medal (for excellence in children's book illustration). The panel is signed on the lower edge.
  • Creator:
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 17.5 in (44.45 cm)Width: 12.5 in (31.75 cm)Depth: 0.25 in (6.35 mm)
  • Style:
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques:
    Bronze,Cast
  • Place of Origin:
  • Period:
  • Date of Manufacture:
    1941
  • Condition:
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Seller Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU865138034252
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