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Hans K. Schuler
Allegorical figure sculpture, monument maker, painting, teaching
Hans Schuler was born in Alsace-Lorraine under German sovereignty. Schuler's family emigrated to the United States while he was still a child. He graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, after having studied at the Rinehart School of Sculpture.
He continued his artistic training in France at the Academie Julian, studying under Raoul Verlet for six years. Schuler was the first American sculptor to win the Salon Gold Medal in Paris, which he won in 1901. At the urging of Henry Walters, the Rinehart School of Sculpture awarded Schuler a special scholarship that allowed him to continue his study in Paris. At the end of this period, he returned to Baltimore, where he built his studio on East Lafayette Avenue in 1906. He resided and worked in Baltimore for the rest of his life.
Schuler became a teacher, influencing a generation of students at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He joined the faculty in 1909, becoming director from 1925-1950. A confirmed classicist, he believed that the mission of the school was to teach what he called "pure art," disdaining the rise of modernism, which he deemed meaningless.
Schuler's sculptures and monuments grace many public places. Among them is a statue of U.S. President James Buchanan in Meridian Hill Park, Washington, D.C. On Baltimore's Charles Street, in the area of the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, there are also imposing monuments by Schuler honoring Johns Hopkins and Sidney Lanier. All three of these monuments are large bronzes occupying elaborate stone placements. Schuler's sculptures and reliefs also adorn the interiors of many public buildings.
For example, Schuler, along with sculptor J. Maxwell Miller, created a large relief panel, which is located in the main concert hall at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Other works by Schuler can be found at St. Mary's College of Maryland, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Portrait Gallery, Fogg Art Museum, Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Historical Society, University of Virgnia, St. John's College (Annapolis, Maryland), Louisiana State University, State University of New York, (Albany and Bronx), and in various parks in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area.
In addition to monuments and cemetery memorials, Hans Schuler sculpted sensual nude figures. His Ariadne (1903), presented as an abandoned and desolate figure, commissioned by his former patron, Henry Walters, is at the Walters Art Museum in a life-sized marble rendition. In 1931, he created a bronze portrait medallion of Walters, which is also at the Museum.
In 1959, Schuler's son, Hans Carl Schuler, Jr., along with his wife, founded the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Schuler's former Baltimore home. They continued the family tradition of educating in the classical realist manner. The school is still in operation under the direction of the artist's descendants.