Karl Morningstar Illava (American 1896-1954) "American Bear" A signed bronze sculpture of an American bear surveying his kingdom from a foliage-covered rocky outcrop. The sculpture is signed Karl and bears the foundry inscription for Griffoul foundry Newark New Jersey (circa 1913). Karl Illava was a child prodigy from the age of 14 and was a student of Gutzon Borglum. At the 1913 exhibition of sculpture at the Gorham Gallery New York he was highly praised for a monumental sculpture of panic-struck sheep descending a slope. The sculpture was so popular it was exhibited again in 1914 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Exhibition. During the same year he exhibited a sculpture of a pugilist surveying his broken hand. He also worked with Harriet Frishmuth in1921 modeling the hunting dogs for the sculpture "The Hunt". His most well known sculpture is "107th Infantry Memorial", completed in 1927 and placed in Central Park along the Perimeter Wall at Fifth Avenue and 67th Street. This sculpture is of seven World War I soldiers. Four have been wounded as the three central figures, with stern faces and clenched fists, attack with bayonets. The Port Chester Spanish American War Monument of 1938 is of a huge muscular giant of a man leaning on his massive rifle. The sculpture of "The Thinking Doughboy Statue", located on Frontage Road on the Corner of Main Street & Prospect Avenue Gloversville New York is an unusually geometric masterpiece and is also very different from his other more well known works. In later life he taught at Edgewood, a prep school in Greenwich, CT.
Dimensions: Length 14 inches by height 10 inches.