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Isidore Konti

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Isidore Konti
Figure, portrait bust, monument and decorative sculpture
American, (7/9/1862–1/11/1938)
Isidore Konti was born in Vienna in 1862 to Ignatz Lajos and Rosalie K. Konti. He showed artistic promise at an early age and enrolled at the Imperial Academy in Vienna at sixteen, where he studied with Beaux-Arts sculptor Edmund von Hellmer and Karl Kundmann. In 1886, Konti travelled to Rome on a scholarship from the Academy, where he developed an appreciation for Italian Renaissance sculpture. Upon his return to Vienna, he found employment as a decorative sculptor, completing commissions for private residences and charities.
Seeking greater artistic opportunities, Konti emigrated to New York in 1892. In New York, he worked in the studios of Philip Martiny and Karl Bitter, with notable projects including decorations for the World's Columbian Exposition with Martiny and completing Bitter's Pulitzer Fountain after the artist's sudden death in 1915. Konti's artistic reputation was truly established with the exhibition of Temple of Music at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition. The ensuing commissions allowed him to establish his New York studio, large enough to create ambitious large-scale monuments including the Column of Progress for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition.
Though best known as a monumental sculptor, Konti also created smaller figural works for household decoration. His first notable work of this genre was Pan and Cupid, exhibited at the 1898 National Sculpture Society. From 1909 to 1912, he created a popular series of dramatic allegorical bookends including Pushing Men, Reverence Before Knowledge, and Literature and Drama.
In 1904, he purchased a home in Yonkers, New York, where he would establish his reputation as "the premier sculptor of Yonkers," completing a number of public works including World War Memorial (1922) in City Hall Park, Hudson Fulton Lincoln Monument (1929) in Memorial Park.
In spite of his declining health, he continued creating large-scale public monuments for institutions in New York (Revered Morgan Dix for Trinity Church, Bishop Horatio Potter's tomb at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine), Philadelphia (the McKinley Memorial), and New Orleans (the Hyams Memorial Fountain, Audubon Park.)
Konti's final major commission was a figure of Louisiana State Governor Francis T. Nicholls for the Baton Rouge State Building in 1931.
Isidore Konti was a member of the National Academy of Design in New York City, he was elected an Associate in 1906, and an Academician in 1909.
For more than three decades, Konti lived in Yonkers until his death in 1938. In Yonkers, he became a key member of the cultural scene. He co-founded the Yoknkers Art Association, served as an early commissioner of the Yonkers Museum of Science and Arts (now the Hudson River Museum). The sculptor was given a retrospective exhibition in 1974 by The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York. Titled The Sculpture of Isidore Konti, 1862-1938, it included two small bookend allegorical figures of Poetry and Thought.

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