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Olin Levi Warner papers, 1857-1962, bulk 1857-1899

Biographical Note

Olin Levi Warner was born in 1844 in Suffield, Connecticut and worked as an artisan and a telegraph operator before pursuing his art education and career. In 1869, Warner traveled to Paris to study under Francois Jouffroy at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was in Paris when the Republic was declared and served in the French Foreign Legion for a short while before resuming his studies. In 1872 he returned to the United States and set up a studio in New York.
An early proponent of the French Beaux-Arts style, Warner was a founding member of the Society of American Artists in 1877 and joined the National Academy of Design in 1888. By the end of Warner's lifetime, he had become a well-known sculptor, helping to popularize bas-relief in the United States. A few of Warner's notable works include a series of medallions depicting Native American Indian Chiefs, an 1876 bust of President Rutherford B. Hayes, the 1883 nude Diana, a statue of judge and former U.S. Attorney General Charles Devens in Boston, and the design of the bronze doors of the Library of Congress. This last project was uncompleted at the time of Warner's death on August 14, 1896, as the result of a bicycle injury in Central Park.