ZORACH, WILLIAM (28 Feb. 1887-15 Nov. 1966) was one of America's foremost sculptors. He was born Zorach Finklestein in Euberick, Lithuania. His family emigrated to America when he was 4, settling first in Port Clinton, O., and 3 years later on Cleveland's Woodland Ave. While his father supported them as a junk dealer, Zorach sold papers, shined shoes, and attended school through the 7th grade. A teacher helped him get a job with the Morgan Lithograph Co., where he developed his artistic skills by watching such local artists as ARCHIBALD WILLARD and WM. SOMMER. At 18 he went to New York to study for 2 terms at the National Acad. of Design, returning to Cleveland to work during the summers. With the encouragement of ABEL WARSHAWSKY he went in 1909 for further study in Paris, where he met California artist Marguerite Thompson, whom he married in New York in 1912. Both had paintings accepted in the 1913 New York Armory Show, and the CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE gave them a combined exhibition in 1919. Zorach gave up painting in the 1920s for sculpture, in which he carved his realistic figures directly into the stone or wood. His most renowned work, Mother and Child, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Spirit of the Dance, done for Radio City Music Hall, was first removed by the management as "too modern" but later restored after protests from the artistic community. One of his bronze sculptures was done for Cleveland's FAIRMOUNT TEMPLE. He died in Bath, Me., survived by his wife, son Tessim, and daughter Dahlov Ipcar.
Zorach, Wm. Art Is My Life (1967).