Robert Winthrop White (1921-2002) lived and worked in St. James, New York and was primarily known as a sculptor and educator.
He was the son of the architect, Lawrence Grant White (1887-1956) and Bessie Chanler White. Stanford White (1853-1906), Robert's grandfather, was one of the founding partners in the prominent New York City architectural firm, McKim, White, and Mead.
As a youth, Robert White traveled to Munich, Germany to study woodcarving, sculpture, and painting. In 1935, he entered Portsmouth Priory School in Rhode Island. From 1938-1942, he was enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, where his mentors were Walter Raemisch in sculpture and John Howard Benson in calligraphy. In World War II, White served as chief boatswain's mate in the United States Coast Guard and later worked in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). At the end of the war, White continued his training in sculpture and painting. In 1947, Robert White married Clare Nicolas, daughter of the painter and stained glass master, Joep Nicolas and the sculptor, Suzanne Nicolas.
Robert White, influenced by the classical techniques of the Renaissance artists, worked in various media, such as bronze, stone, plaster, terra-cotta, and wood. His subjects included portrait, figure, and life studies; animals; and dancers. Robert White also was an illustrator. He illustrated works by Laura Spencer Pope, William Styron, and others. White also illustrated two collections of his own poems, Casques and Dust and Palace: The Story of A Friendship that were privately published before his death in 2002.
Robert White held teaching positions at several universities and schools, including the Suffolk Museum of Art, the Parsons School of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. From 1967-1987, White was an associate professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
White exhibited his work in museums and galleries in the United States and abroad, including Artists Choice Museum, Artist's Gallery, Benson Gallery, Boston Athenaeum, Gallery North, Hartwick College Museum, Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Patricia Fleischmann Gallery, Rijksakademie Van Beeldende, State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the Suffolk Museum and Carriage House, among others. Robert White was represented by the Davis Gallery, Graham Gallery, and Graham Modern in New York City.
Robert White's private and public commissions included works for the American Battle Monuments Commission, Amyas Ames, Theodore Cremer, John Marquand, Peabody Museum, State University of New York, William Styron, and Xerox Corporation. His work can be viewed in the collections of the Boston Athenaeum, Brooklyn Museum, Civici Musei 3 Gallerie di Storia e Arte, Heckscher Museum, and the Rhode Island School of Design. Robert White was the recipient of the Laurel Gallery's "New Talent" exhibition prize, 1948; American Academy's Rome Prize, 1952-1954; and the Proctor Memorial Prize at the National Academy of Design, 1962, 1982. He was also awarded grants from the Tiffany Foundation, 1950 and the Fairfield Foundation, 1968. From 1952-1955, White was a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, where he also served as an artist-in-residence from 1969-1970. Robert White was a member of the American Academy in Rome, the Augustus Saint Gaudens Memorial, Century Association, and the National Academy of Design.
Robert White continued to work on the family estate in St. James, New York until his death in 2002.