Volk, Leonard Wells

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Volk, Leonard Wells

Leonard Wells Volk, 1828–95, American sculptor, b. Wellstown (now Wells), N.Y. In 1848 he went to St. Louis, where he studied drawing and worked at funerary sculpture. With the aid of Stephen A. Douglas he studied in Rome, and in 1857 he opened a studio in Chicago. He closely studied both Lincoln and Douglas during their famous debates and also made a life mask of Lincoln and casts of his hands. A leading figure in the Chicago art world, Volk was active in founding the Chicago Academy of Design. His colossal Douglas monument is in Chicago, and statues of Lincoln and Douglas are in the capitol at Springfield, Ill. He executed many portrait busts and military monuments.

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