William Wetmore Story (1819-1895 )

American sculptor and poet, son of the jurist, Joseph Story, was born at Salem, Massachusetts, on the 12th of February 1819. He graduated at Harvard College in 1838 and at the Harvard Law School in 1840, continued his law studies under his father, was admitted to the Massachusetts bar, and prepared two legal treatises of value-Treatise on the Law of Contracts not under Seal (2 vols., 1844) and Treatise on the Law of Sales of Personal Property (1847).

Abandoning the law, he devoted himself to sculpture, and after 1850 lived in Rome, whither he had first gone in 1848, and where he was intimate with the Brownings and with Landor. He died at Vallombroso, Italy, on the 7th of October 1895.

One of his earliest works in sculpture was a statue of his father, now in the memorial chapel of Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.; others are Cleopatra (of which there is an enthusiastic description in Hawthornes Marble Faun) and Semiramis in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Chief Justice Marshall, on the west terrace of the Capitol, and Professor Henry for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington; and Francis Scott Key, San Francisco.

Among his writings, in addition to the legal treatises mentioned above, are Life and Letters of Joseph Story (1851), Roba di Roma (1862), Proportions of the Human Figure (1866), Fiammetta (I 885), a novel, Conversations in a Studio (1890), Excursions in Art and Letters (1891), and several volumes of poems of considerable merit.


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