National Sculpture Review
This image of Joe’s Peace was on the cover of National Sculpture Review magazine’s Fall 1960 issue. The sculpture, which had been dedicated in early July of that year stands in the Memorial Chapel of the Veterans Cemetery in Margraten Holland and was Commissioned by the American Battle Monuments Commission. Henry R. Shepley was the architect.
National Sculpture Review, now known as Sculpture Review, has been published quarterly since 1951. Joe must have been very proud of being on the cover because he gave copies of the magazine to friends and family.
We all enjoyed this cartoon from the Fall issue of the Review and wanted to share it with our visitors.
Bust of Ben Franklin
This is Joe’s “Bust of Ben Franklin for 1962 half dollar.” Joe was commissioned to create the image of Franklin for the widely used fifty-cent piece. Millions of Americans have enjoyed this sculpture.
Golden Plate Award
Joseph Kiselewski received many awards and prizes during his long and produtive career. In this photo he is receiving the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award. Upon receiving this award in Dallas Texas in 1967 Joe joined the many other luminaries such as Maya Angelou, Bob Dylan, and Jane Goodall that have received the Golden Plate Award since its founding in 1961. Joe’s Golden Plate, shown here, is on display at the Todd County Historical Society Museum in Long Prairie, Minnesota.
Among the other awards that Joe received were the Parisian Beaux Arts competition in 1925 and the Prix de Rome in 1926-1929. He was elected to be an Academician of the National Academy of Design in 1944 and he received the J. Sanford Saltus Medal in 1970 for excellence in the art of medallic sculpture.
Kiselewski's award on display at the Todd County Historical Society Museum, 333 Central Ave, Long Prairie, MN
Joe made a bronze bust of the author Sinclair Lewis in 1960 and was later commissioned to make a full life size bronze statue of ‘Sinclair Lewis as A Boy’ by the Sinclair Lewis Foundation of Sauk Centre. The bust was housed in the Sinclair Lewis Interpretive Center until it was closed and is now in the Sinclair Lewis Public Library building in Sauk Centre.
Interestingly, an old brochure for the Interpretive Center says, “Bronze Bust sculpted by Joseph Kiselewski and cast for the Sinclair Lewis Centennial in 1985.”
Joe completed a small model of the ‘Sinclair Lewis as A Boy’ but we don’t know if he sculpted the full size version. He was working on it while in retirement in Browerville. The model is on display at American Heritage Bank in Browerville.
An interview of Joe can be read here. The article clipping is neither dated nor attributed.
If you know something about these sculptures, please let us know.
Lewis won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1930 and was born in Sauk Centre in 1885.
It would appear that there were in fact two productions of 'Sinclair Lewis as a Boy.' Note how the black and white photo (found in Joe's files, and presumably from the original project) is a mirror image of the color photo of the statue found at American Heritage Bank in Browerville.
In 1962, Joe designed the Elizabeth Watrous Medal for Sculpture.
Syracuse University, Syrause N.Y
On the back of this photo Joe has written: “12 foot ‘Moses’ on the Law College Building. Syracuse University, Syrause N.Y. Working model for museum 16” colored plaster.” Barb Noland notes that the Law School is now Falk College.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Inventories Catalogue describes the sulpture as having been installed in 1965 and made out of terra cotta. They indicate that the sculpture was commissioned by the architect of the auditorium, Mr. Lorimer Rich, the donor of the auditorium, Mr. Arnold Grant, and the university chancellor, Dr. William Tolley. Their description reads: “The figure of Moses holding a tablet with the ten commandments in his hands floats against the wall of the law school’s Grant Auditorium.”
Joe said repeatedly, to media, friends, and family, that this twelve foot tall statue was his masterpiece. A photograph of it was the cover of the Fall 1960 National Sculpture Review. It was described as follows:
“Peace” by Joseph Kiselewski. Twelve foot bronze figure placed before WWII Memorial Chapel in the Veterans Cemetery, Margraten, Holland for the American Battle Monuments Comm. Dedicated on July 7, 1960. Architects: Henry R. Shepley of the Boston firm of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson, and Abbott. Landscape architects Clarke and Rapauano, New York City.”
The statue has also been called Mourning Woman, according to Barb Noland. “This is a statue that depicts a mother who is mourning over her lost son in WWII,” she writes.
“I think you would be interested to know that, according to specifications, the doves on the completed monument had to be designed to support the weight of a 250 pound man,” Joe told a reporter for the Little Falls Transcript on October 15, 1980 shortly after he had returned to Browerville for retirement.
In August 2019, Joe's niece, Barb Noland, visited Margraten. To see the photos and videos that Barb took of her visit to the Veterans Cemetery, click here.
This 84 mm bronze medal was designed by Joseph Kiselewski in 1964 and made by the Medallic Art Company. It honors Henry Bacon, renowned architect of the magnificent Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The medal’s full name is “The Henry Bacon Medal for Memorial Architecture”. The medal is quite prestigious as, for example, The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C. was awarded the Henry Bacon Medal for Memorial Architecture.
Although he only lived to the age of fifty-seven Henry Bacon was a very prolific architect designing dozens of public buildings and monuments including the Union Square Savings Bank in Manhattan and the Danforth Memorial Library in Patterson New Jersey.He was also very active as a designer of monuments and settings for public sculpture.
This medal was obtained by the deceased niece of Kiselewski, Delores Johnson, and is now in the possession of Kim Schuh, Dolores’ daughter.
Henry Ward Beecher
Joe created this bronze medal, manufactured by the Medallic Art Co., depicting Henry Ward Beecher for the Hall of Great Americans at the Bronx Community College in New York City in 1964. The medal was part of a series of ninety-six medals created by forty-two sculptors between 1962 and 1975. Joe also sculpted busts of Sylvanus Thayer and Oliver Wendell Holmes for the Hall. The sculptor John Massey Rhind created the Hall’s of Henry Ward Beecher.
Henry Ward Beecher was a Christian minister, advocate for the abolition of slavery, a supporter of Darwin’s theory on evolution, and an advocate for the right to vote for women. He was the brother of the famous slavery abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe.
You can read more about the Great American series of medals for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at this 2004 Medal Collectors of America article here.
Joe made this thirty-two inch bust of Sylvanus Thayer for the Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University in New York City. It was installed in 1966, four years before his Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. bust was installed there.
The profile of this bust was the basis for Joe’s Sylvanus Thayer Award medal. Since 1958, this award has been given annually to outstanding American citizens, such as astronaut Neil Armstrong and President Dwight Eisenhower.
The medal and the bust were featured in the Fall 1966 Sculpture Review magazine. Sylvanus Thayer was Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy from 1817 to 1833 and is known as “The Father of West Point”. He was especially interested in engineering education.
On the reverse it says, Sylvanus Thayer, 1785 - 1872, The Hall of Fame for Great Americans at New York University, 1966, Movement of curved lines, Movement of Curved Projectiles, Quadrature of Curves
Harold Stirling Vanderbilt
Joe was commissioned to sculpt this nine foot tall bronze statue of Harold Stirling Vanderbilt by Vanderbilt University in 1965.Vanderbilt served as President of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1955 to 1968. He was the great grandson of the rail road baron Cornelius Vanderbilt as well as an accomplished sailor and bridge player.
Barb Noland, in the photo, visited the statue in 2013 and says that the statue rests on a rectangular pillar making the whole display about sixteen to eighteen feet tall. The photo of the bust is from Joe’s collection of images of his work.
This terra-cotta bust of Joe was created by his National Academy of Design student Terry Illes in1965. Ms. Illes received the Academy’s Dessie Greer Award in 1966 for it. Barb Noland discovered the bust in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
We don't currently know who Charles G. Proffitt was. Presumably, he was an architect.
Aymar Embury II
This plaque was created by Joe to honor architect Aymar Embury II. Embury was born in 1880 and had a major influence on the architectural landscape of New York City. Among many other projects, he was the architect for the Triborough Bridge, now known as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The Triborough Bridge is a complex of bridges and elevated expressway viaducts that link the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx. The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the bridge Bridge Project as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1986. Embury also worked with Robert Moses to redesign New York City’s parks. In another capacity he worked with Cass Gilbert, the architect for the Minnesota State Capitol. Like Joseph Kiselewski, Embury’s work can be found around the country.