Obituaries: André Harvey

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André Harvey

André Harvey, renowned American realist sculptor, died in Wilmington, Delaware on February 6 after a short illness at the age of 76.

André is known for his bronze sculptures, intricate sculpted gold jewelry, found object collages, and works in granite. André created his work through knowing his subjects intimately and working hand in hand with the foundry.  He was never satisfied until the essence of the subject was reflected in his work.  His attention to detail included the creation of his own tools appropriate to the subject.

André accomplished a level of reality seldom seen in contemporary realistic bronzes. The inspiration for André’s sculptures often began in the fields and woods of his beloved Brandywine Valley.

André said  “it’s humbling to focus on the permanence of nature, the magical charm of a praying mantis, a hornet, a frog, or the scent of honeysuckle.”  Perhaps André’s most well known sculpture, Helen, a full sized bronze barnyard pig has delighted visitors to the Brandywine Museum of Art for over 30 years.

André described his process in creating Helen this way:  “During the summer months I spent doing the clay, this sow became the friendliest of the six pigs in the pen. I would jump the fence, set up my portable sculpting table, and give her a call. Of all the pigs, she was the only one that would come to me without being bribed by a fistful of corn. She would amble up to within a few feet of me, and then assume a sitting position—almost as if she had planned to sit for a portrait.”

André graduated from the University of Virginia in 1963.  In 1969, after working both as a journalist in New York City and an educator in Wilmington, Delaware, he and his wife, Bobbie traveled throughout Europe and Morocco. During this period, André worked as an apprentice with abstract sculptor Michel Anasse in Vallauris, France.

Upon their return home André began creating realistic sculptures inspired by his childhood in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.  André’s first high-profile exposure was the exhibition of five sculptures for the windows created by Gene Moore for Tiffany & Company in New York City.

Since that time, in a career spanning over four decades, André has produced an extensive volume of work which has been featured in numerous public and private collections and in exhibitions both nationally and internationally.

André was a Fellow and former Board Member of the National Sculpture Society and received the Society′s Joel Meissner Award and the Tallix Foundry Award.  In June 2017, the Hagley Museum and Library compiled an oral history “Interview with André and Bobbie Harvey.”

Public collections include the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AK;  Louwman Museum, The Hague, The Netherlands; Brandywine Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, PA;  Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE;  Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, SC; Fort Worth Botanic Garden, Fort Worth, TX;  The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, MI; Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, Winterthur, DE;  Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin, DE;  University of Delaware, Newark, DE; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA; Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE; Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI; and the Delaware Museum of Natural History, Wilmington, DE. Exhibitions include the Nature in Art Trust, Gloucester, U.K.; Palazzo Mediceo, Seravezza, Italy;  National Sculpture Society, New York, NY;  Fleischer Museum, Masterworks of American Sculpture, Scottsdale, AZ;  Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood, Stockbridge, MA;  Art in Embassies Program, Yarralumla, Australia, Lilongwe, Malawi and Lusaka, Zambia; National Academy of Design, New York, NY;  National Audubon Society, New York, NY;  Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga, TN;  Brandywine Museum of Art, Chadds Ford, PA;  Mystic Seaport, The Museum of America and the Sea, Mystic, CT;  Mystic Aquarium, Mystic, CT; Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston, SC;  Blessing of Animals, Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, NY; and Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL.  Photographs of his life’s work can be viewed at andreharvey.com.

André’s unique spirit will live on through his art and through the enduring friendships he formed during his lifetime.  His warmth, gentle spirit and playfulness enriched many lives.  André is survived by his wife Bobbie, partner in his creative life for 54 years; his brothers Roy,Tad, Bruce, and sister Sally.  He is predeceased by his parents, Edmund and Jeanne Harvey, and his brother Rusty.

A celebration of André’s life will take place on Saturday, February 17 at 11AM in the Soda House (Buck Road entrance) at the Hagley Museum following a private interment at the DuPont de Nemours Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Delaware Wild Lands, Inc., PO Box 505, Odessa, DE 19730; Hagley Museum, Oral History Project, PO Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807; or the Brandywine Museum of Art, PO Box 141, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.

For online condolences, please visit www.Chandlerfuneralhome.com

 

 

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