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What a Relief! Innovations in American Sculpture, 1875-1910
The C. Richard Hilker Lecture
David B. Dearinger
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 | 6:30 pm ET | Free


During the last quarter of the 19th century, just as painters were manipulating their materials in new ways, sculptors were reconsidering traditional ways of sculpting. In this illustrated lecture, art historian and curator David Dearinger will discuss the works of America’s two leading sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) and Daniel Chester French (1850–1931). Particular attention will be given to their innovations in relief sculpture, one of the two traditional categories of sculptural form.

David B. Dearinger is an art historian and museum curator who specializes in the history of 19th-century American painting and sculpture. He holds an M.A. in American Studies and a Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has taught art history in New York at Brooklyn College, Queens College, Adelphi University, and, for over 20 years, at the State University of New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology. He joined the curatorial staff at the National Academy of Design in 1985 and served as that institution's Chief Curator from 1995 to 2004, when he was named the Hilles Curator of Painting & Sculpture at the Boston Athenaeum.

This is a special program presented free of charge by the Sansom Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports numerous causes. Since 2001, the Foundation has held a series of scholarly lectures to celebrate and commemorate the leadership of the late C. Richard Hilker, its past president.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


By phone: Contact New-York Historical’s in-house call center at (212) 485-9268. Call center is open 9 am–5 pm daily.
Online: Click on the orange “Reserve Tickets” button at the top of this page.
In person: Advance tickets may be reserved on site at New-York Historical’s Admissions desk during Museum hours.

To request Chairman's Council tickets, or to inquire about the Chairman's Council, email chairmanscouncil@nyhistory.org.

Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers and/or those who do not provide requested Covid-19 documentation. Program tickets do not include Museum Admission unless otherwise noted.

Advance registration closes four hours prior to program start time. Subject to availability, tickets can be reserved onsite up until the program start time.

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