William Rush, 1756–1833, American sculptor, one of the earliest in the country, b. Philadelphia. His wood carvings, clay models, and figureheads were famous in their day. Of his other works, carved in wood, the statue of George Washington is in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, and a bronze replica of his graceful Spirit of the Schuylkill (1812) is in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Thomas Eakins painted Rush at work on this figure (1877; Philadelphia Mus. of Art). Rush was a leader in founding the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which owns many of his works including a plaster cast of a vigorous self-portrait. He also did portraits of Joseph Wright, Samuel Morris, Washington, Lafayette, and others. The Philadelphia Museum of Art contains some of his sprightly allegorical figures, among them Comedy and Tragedy.
See catalog by H. Marceau (1937).