In Memoriam

  1907 - 1990

Biography and Work of……

Frederick C. Shrady

SCULPTOR

 

FREDRICK SHRADY was born in New York in 1907. He graduated from Choat School in 1928 and Oxford University in 1931. Mr. Shrady subsequently moved to Paris where he lived and worked as an artist for nine years in the Montparnasse district surrounded by such luminaries as Picasso, Leger, Matisse and Andre Derain who was his first mentor as well as his friend. Following a brilliant career as a painter with works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as well as museums in Paris, Lyons, Grenoble, Belgrade, and Zagreb. Mr Shrady's first work as a sculptor done in 1950 was his head of Fr. Martin D'Arcy S.J. which was immediately acquired by the Metropolitan Musem Art.

Since that time a steady stream of commissions flowed out of Shrady's studio and into ecclesiastical and secular settings around the country. Although he most widely known for his works dedicated to religious themes, he continued to sculpt portrait busts of such eminent men of the age as Bertrand Russell and Adlai Stevenson . These, and such secular commissions as his 15 foot bronze sculpture symbolic of fidelity, bravery, and integrity done for the new F.B.I. building in 1979 and his Triad - the Family, done for the General Electric Headquarters in Fairfield CT, have placed Fredrick Shrady outside the narrow limits of being a "religious" or "church" artist and place him in the mainstream of contemporary art. His work as such will be found in both the Paul Mellon and Joseph Hirshhorn collections. In the words of art historian, Philip Eliasoph, the work of Fredrick Shrady is "… a refreshing anachronism for our time…[that] confirms a humanistic understanding of the divine." When asked once in an interview whether he was America's foremost religious sculptor, he simply replied, "I am a sculptor."

In regard to his purely religious works, born of his sincere Catholic faith, (he converted from the Episcopal Church in 1947) one of his most recent and most powerful is the bronze statue of Our Lady of Fatima located in the Vatican gardens. Seen below are the clay model in the artist's Connecticut studio and in situ with the Pope in admiration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following are excerpts from a 1967 essay on the work of Mr. Shrady by historian and Pulitzer Prize novelist Paul Horgan: " Frederick Shrady's works [are] the expression of a completely conceptualized idea, and never a mere imitation of a fact or surface of nature… [they are] of heroic scale and dramatic forms…he is a master craftsman who can make his fixed materials serve the release of emotional gestures larger than life." …"He is a son of tradition, he is also a man very much of his own time; and therefore while he gives allegiance to the visible beauties of life which we all perceive and understand in common, he uses these as points of departure for his own style of utilizing the human figure primarily as a source for semi-abstract gesture to carry the idea he wants to release. He is so soundly grounded in the academic understanding of anatomical form that he can make free of it for his own expression which, however free, never does violence to the essential truth of natural organic form." … "Ever so many of his works carry the effect of aspiration -- rising like flame, a reaching in desire for that which can be attained only through the manifestation of the invisible, which has much to do with what we achieve in the attainment of true religious faith."…It is such art as his, confident in its own technical and philosophical authority, which does true honor to man's noblest aspiration-- his desire to reach toward his Creator. Frederick Shrady's work will live long and enter many lives with an abiding reminder of truth from two sources-- the divine truth of Christ the teacher, and the human truth of man the artist." Mrs. Frederick (Maria) Shrady joined her beloved husband in eternal life in March, 2002. He is survived by his two sons Alexander James Stewat Shrady, Nicholas Charles Frederick Shrady and four daughters; Maria Theresa Von Waldow, Marie Louise Smith, Marie Antoinette Joyce and Maria Christina Shrady.

 

Examples of the work of Frederick C. Shrady

 

 

The Holy Family

 

St. Francis Feeding the Birds

 

Lazarus, Pittsburgh, PA

 

 

 

Mother Ann Seton , St. Patricks Cathedral, N.Y.

 

Immaculata

 

Head of St. Francis

 

Torso

 

 

St. Martin dividing his cape

Fry. Junipero Serra

 

 

Icarus

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