1891-1945 American Sculptor
Max Kalish was a realist sculptor who specialized in portraying laborers. Inspired by the natural physical agility and strength of
his subjects, he observed the poses of classical Greek sculpture in his models. Accordingly, he merged classical and modern European
sculptural styles to produce energetic figural works, mostly in bronze, that he perceived as distinctively American. He remarked,
I learned that the American workman is a distinct type. . . . I saw him upstanding, independent, proud to do hard work.1
Kalish was born in Valozin, Lithuania, and emigrated with his family to Cleveland in 1898. When he was fifteen, Kalish left high school
after receiving a scholarship to study at the Cleveland School of Art (now the Cleveland Institute of Art). At the school, his main instructor
was the sculptor Herman Matzen, who had trained in Europe. Upon graduating in 1909, Kalish won first prize for life modeling.