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Georg John Lober
Georg John Lober was a respected American sculptor born in Chicago to Danish parents (Axel G. Lober and Anna Danielson Lober) in 1892. He attended public schools in Saint Louis and Keyport, New Jersey, taking an interest in art as early as age eleven. He studied with A. Stirling Calder (American, 1870-1945). Hermon MacNeil (American, 1866-1947), Gutzon Borglum (American, 1867-1941) (to whom he was apprenticed), and Evelyn Longman (American, 1874-1954) at the National Academy of Design, Columbia College, and Beaux Arts Institute, Longman appears to have been the most significant influence on his work.
At the 1911 Architectural League of the New York exhibition, he ws awarded the Avery Collaborative Prize, his first major professional recognition. He began exhibiting his work at the annual Academy exhibitions in 1918. In the same year he ws awarded Honorable mention from th Art Institute of Chicago (which he would receive again in 1920).He continued exhibiting with the Academy for many years, his final submission a bust of Theodore Roosevelt. During these years his work was additionally exhibited at the National Sculpture Society (1923), the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Allied Artists of America, National Arts Club, and the Monclair Art Museum, among others.
His awards included First Prize from the Connecticut Adademy of Fine Arts in 1924; a 1926 Art Centre of the Oranges prize; and a 1952 medal and prizes from the National Arts Club and National Sculpture Society. He was awarded the Danish medal by the King of Denmark in 1946 and knighted Ridder af Dannebrog in 1950.
Throughout his life, Lober was an advocate for artists and their well-being. He was an active member of the New York Architectural League, national Sculpture Society, Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Salmagundi Club., Allied Artists of America, National Arts Club, and the National Academy of Design (Academician), among many others. He gained nationwide recognition, but remained focused on the New York art world. As a proponent of maintaining the high standards of New York's buildings and public sculpture, he was an officer and board member of many of these aforementioned organizations, as well as the Municipal Ar Society of the City of New York. One of his most important leadership roles was his appointment in 1943 as secretary of th Art Commission of the City of New York. Through this post, he held much influence over New York's public architectural and artistic displays, mounting a successful large-scale restoration campaign for the City Hall art collection in the late 1940s.
Through he worked primarily in medallic sculpture representing idyllic themes, many of his best-known works are examples of portraiture: Theodore Roosevelt for the New York University Hall of Fame; George M. Cohan in Duffy Square, New York; Thomas Paine for a memorial in Burnham Park, Morristown, New Jersey; Frank Bacon at the Golden Gate Museum, San Francisco; and a figure of Hans Christian Andersen in Central Park, New York. He is also well-known for his contributions to large-scale public sculpture and memorials including Peace Memorial, Norfolk, Virginia; nineteen Lincoln Memorial Tablets, Statte of Illinois; the John Wells James Memorial, Massachusetts; the Mother's Memorial, 71st Regiment Armory, New York; the Caleb Thomas Winchester Memorial, Weleyan College, Middletown, Connecticut; the marble Baptistry at the First Baptist Church, Plainfield, New Jersey; St. Peter and St. Paul, Church of Our Lady of Consolation, Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Lober retired from his professional positions in 1959 and died shortly thereafter in 1961 in New York.
Lober's work is represented in the Smithsonian Collection, Corcoran Gallery, the Montclair Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.