Louise Peterson, “Her High Four,” bronze, 44 x 43 x 24 inches

Whether large or small, fierce or gentle, our planet’s wildlife is truly something to behold and appreciate. The nave of America’s largest cathedral, in America’s busiest city, is currently bursting at its seams with these world-class sculptures.

The National Sculpture Society (NSS) opened a significant juried exhibition on June 10 in Manhattan. Located at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine — our nation’s largest cathedral — “A Blessing of Animals” features works of 26 important sculptors from around the United States.

Dan Ostermiller, “Ursus,” bronze, 98 1/2 x 46 1/2 x 39 inches
Walter Matia, “The House of Lords,” bronze, 70 x 50 x 29 inches

On view through September 10, the animal theme will “delight visitors,” the NSS writes. “The sculptures on display range from life-size to heroic and are created by some of this country’s leading animal sculptors. Animals furry, feathered, finned and flippered are represented in the show. Highlights include an eight-and-a-half foot tall Grizzly bear; a babel-like tower of frogs; ravens conversing from fence posts; a stalking bobcat; and a group of animal friends engaged in the childhood favorite ‘Ring Around The Rosie.’ Whether made of bronze, stone, or steel, the animal sculptures embody the diversity of talent and imagination of the artists and will appeal to everyone.”

T.D. Kelsey, “Orgulloso,” bronze, 3 x 5 x 4 feet
André Harvey, “Stella,” bronze 38 1/2 x 67 x 25 1/2 inches

More than 70 talented sculptors applied for the show, which took several years of organizing to realize. Robin R. Salmon, vice president for collections and curator of sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens, as well as sculptors Sandy Scott and Greg Wyatt, served as jurors for the exhibition. Twenty-nine works of art were selected from more than 278 entries.

Tim Cherry, “River Mates,” bronze, 52 x 48 x 12 inches
Dan Chen, “Peacocks,” bronze, 56 x 66 x 26 inches

After its tenure in Manhattan, the exhibition will travel to Naples, Florida, where it will be on display from early October through late January 2018. Sculptors featured in the exhibition include Dan Chen, Tim Cherry, Darrell Davis, D.L. Engle, Bob Guelich, André Harvey, Tony Hochstetler, Amy Kann, T.D. Kelsey, Madeleine Lord, Roger Martin, Walter Matia, Leo E. Osborne, Dan Ostermiller, Louise Peterson, Gary Lee Price, Paul Rhymer, Rosetta, Stefan Savides, Sandy Scott, Joshua Tobey, David H. Turner, Kent Ullberg, Meg White, Wesley Wofford, and Rod Zullo.

To learn more, visit the National Sculpture Society.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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