Joshua at Jericho
Artist DetailsName: Willard Hirsch
Birth: 1905 Death: 1982
Artwork DetailsSubject: Abstract, Portrait
Period: 20th Century
Medium: wood (red oak) on
Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 15in
Credit: Museum Purchase with funds from Friends of the Artist
A native of Charleston, Willard Hirsch (1905-1982) trained at the National Academy of Design and the Beaux Arts Institute in New York during the 1930s. He studied under notable architectural sculptors Robert Aitkin (1878-1947) and Adolf Alexander Weinman (1870-1952), and learned superb modeling techniques under Edward McCartan (1879-1947) and Gaetano Cecere (1894-1985). He worked as a sculptor in New York for nearly a decade and under the auspices of the New York Federal Art Project contributed sculptural pieces to a number of that city’s public building projects.
After serving in the military during WWII, Hirsch returned to Charleston where he felt his work could make a greater impact. In the years immediately following his return from New York, Hirsch completed a series of wood sculptures based on characters and stories from the Old Testament. These powerful works such as Joshua at Jericho reflect his steadfast interest in the traditions of his Jewish faith. Working exclusively in wood from native tree species, Hirsch painstakingly carved these objects using the inherent elements of each block of wood as the guide.