Jose de Creeft

Eumenis Megalopoulos | Jan 26, 2024

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José de Creeft († September 11, 1982 in New York City, USA) was a Spanish-born American sculptor.

De Creeft grew up in Barcelona, where his family had moved in 1888. Two years later, his father died, leaving his family penniless. As a child, he earned his first money hauling sand and stones for architect Antonio Gaudí's Sagrada Família church construction site. As a ten-year-old, he made clay figurines for the feast of Santa Lucia, which he sold on the steps of Barcelona Cathedral. Two years later, he began an apprenticeship with a sculptor who made religious art out of wood. The following year he began an apprenticeship at the bronze foundry "Masriera & Campins", where he met the sculptors Maria Benlliure and Manolo Hugo.

In 1900, de Creeft went to Madrid to gain his first experience of working with stone in the workshop of Augustin Querol Subirats. Here there was a first exhibition of his works. In 1905, on the recommendation of Ignacio Zuloaga, he went to Paris and, at the suggestion of Auguste Rodin, attended the Académie Julian. He moved into a studio in Montmartre and came into contact with Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris and Pablo Gargallo. In 1906 he received the Grand Prix of his academy in the "Concours de Sculpture". In 1909, after a stay in Spain, he returned to Paris and in 1911 started working in the firm "La Maison Greber", which specialized in the production of reproductions of stone sculptures. In 1915 he turned to direct carving, in which the artist works his artwork out of the material without templates or patterns. He preferred this way of creating to other methods until the end of his life. The sculptor Alexander Calder learned the technique of direct carving from de Creeft.

In the years 1919 to 1929 he exhibited at the events of the Paris Société du Salon d'Automne. In 1927 he received a commission for the castle of the painter Roberto Ramonge in Puerto Pollensa on Mallorca, on which he worked intermittently until 1936. In 1929 he married in London his pupil, the American Alice Robertson Carr, who followed him to Mallorca. Alice was evacuated with her two children from a US warship in 1936 after the outbreak of the Civil War in Spain.

In the meantime, de Creeft had established himself as an artist in New York. Since 1932 he had been a lecturer in sculpture at the New York New School for Social Research. In 1939 the couple divorced. In 1940 he became a citizen of the U.S. In 1944 he became a lecturer at the Art Students League of New York. That same year he married his student Lorrie Goulet, who later became a sculptor. The couple had a daughter in 1948.

In 1955, José de Creeft was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1964 he was elected Member (NA) of the National Academy of Design, having been elected Fellow of the National Sculpture Society in 1958.

De Creeft's works can be seen in a wide variety of public spaces throughout the United States:


  1. Jose de Creeft
  2. José de Creeft
  3. ^ Marter, Joan M. (June 27, 2011). The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195335798 – via Google Books.
  4. Past Academicians "D" / de Creeft, Jose NA 1964 (Memento des Originals vom 16. Januar 2014 im Internet Archive)  Info: Der Archivlink wurde automatisch eingesetzt und noch nicht geprüft. Bitte prüfe Original- und Archivlink gemäß Anleitung und entferne dann diesen Hinweis.@1@2Vorlage:Webachiv/IABot/ (abgerufen am 20. Juni 2015)
  5. (en) José de Creeft. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gearchiveerd op 6 maart 2016.
  6. Afbeelding "Continuite" en.wikipedia (fair use). Gearchiveerd op 23 januari 2018.
  7. Afbeelding "New Being", Wichita University
  8. René Édouard-Joseph, Dictionnaire biographique des artistes contemporains, tome 1, A-E, Art & Édition, 1930, p. 331

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