Stanley Bleifeld, American (1924 - 2011)

Stanley Bleifeld

Stanley Bleifeld has been an artist in the public eye since the 1950's.  In 1967, the Bridgeport Sunday Post art critic wrote, "The name Stanley Bleifeld and sculpture are synonymous."  His fame is almost legendary.  Widespread public recognition came from the 1964 World's Fair Vatican Pavilion's commission of a five-part bronze relief.  A Life Magazine picture and article kept him before the public eye.  And, of course there was the New York gallery, a good established one - Peridot of 820 Madison Avenue with its streams of Bleifeld reviews.  More recently, Bleifeld was selected from hundreds of American sculptors to create a national monument for the U.S. Navy in Washington, D.C.  His larger than life sculpture, Lone Sailor, sits on a site near the Capital building and receives thousands of visitors a year.  The commission peaked the interest of the national media including the Today Show, Newsweek and The Washington Post.  A Weston, Connecticut resident for 35 years, Stanley shares his time between his secluded studio and home in Connecticut and a home in Pietrasanta, Italy.

A sculptor and President of the National Sculpture Society from 1991 to 1993, Stanley Bleifeld was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and was an art student at Temple University in Philadelphia. He began his fine-art career as a painter. However, a visit to Italy and exposure to the bronzes of Donatello, Michelangelo, and Ghiberti changed his direction. Many of his early pieces were religious subjects, and reflected both painting and sculptural techniques in bas reliefs that had "liquid landscapes in undulating reliefs and free-flowing portraits reminiscent of classical fragments" (166-167). He later turned from these abstract pieces to more realistic figures in bronze.

In 1990, Bleifeld received the Henry Hering memorial Medal of the National Sculpture Society for his over life-size figure, "Lone Sailor", at the Visitors Center in Washington DC. It is a single bronze figure, seven feet high, standing on the "largest map of the world---a 100 foot-diameter granite gridwork", which symbolizes all the men and women of the Armed Forces through this one sailor with his hands in his pocket and looking out over the whole world. In keeping with the theme of water, the "Lone Sailor" is surrounded by fountains, waterfalls, and pools. Another work by Bleifeld is the sculpture group, "Homecoming", for the Visitors Center, located behind the "Lone Sailor" memorial.

Bleifeld has also been a workshop teacher including the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Bleifeld’s public monuments include four sculptures for the U.S. Navy Memorial (he served in the Navy in World War II) in Washington, D.C., the Knights of Columbus Memorial in Connecticut, and the Baseball Players at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. and many others. The originals of his works The Lone Sailor and The Homecoming are two created for the Navy Memorial. Subsequently a number of replicas deployed across the United States.

A replica of The Homecoming" was unveiled at the Golden Gate Bridge Vista Point in 2002. It was dedicated as a tribute to the men and women of the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines who shipped out through the Golden Gate, more than a million and a half during World War II alone. The bronze statue is seven feet tall and weighs eight hundred pounds. The sailor stands beside a stanchion and his duffel bag looking at the City of San Francisco.

His work is in numerous private collections throughout the world. Most recently he won a commission for, and unveiled a Civil Rights monument “It Seemed like Reaching for the Moon” in Richmond, Va.

Bleifeld died from a cerebral hemorrhage following a head injury received from a fall four days earlier at his Weston studio.

Brooklyn, N.Y., 1924

B.F.A., B.S. Ed.,1949-50 Tyler School of Fine Art, Temple University, PA.
M.F.A. 1950 Tyler School of Fine Art, Temple University, PA.

Public Commissions:
"The Prophets", Vatican Pavilion, NY, World's fair, 8' x 11' Relief 1664/5
The Margaret Sanger Medal, 1965
The Margaret Sanger Award, 1966
"The Magic Carpet", Kokomo Public Library, Kokomo, Indiana, 9' x 11' Relief, 1969
"The Family of Acrobats", 17' H, Orlando Fashion Square, Fl., 1973
Ninetieth Issue, The Society of Medallists, 1974
"Family at Play", 9' H., Regency Square, Richmond, Va, 1975
"Ark of the Covenant", 5' H., Temple Israel, Westport, Ct., 1980
"Alberta Family", 9' H., Calgary, Canada, 1981
The Father McGivney Memorial, 9' H., Knights of Columbus, New Haven, Ct., 1982
"Medal of Liberty", The American Civil Liberties Union, 1984
"The Lone Sailor", 7' H., United States Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C. 1987
"The Liberty Hound", 7' H. figure, United States Navy Memorial, Jacksonville, Fl., 1988
"The Homecoming", Life size, United States Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1989
"The Silent Service", Bas-relief, United States Navy Memorial, Washington, D.C., 1991

Private Collections:
Mr. Justice Thurgood Marshall, Harry Reasoner, Mrs. Coretta King, Mme. Pandit Nehru,
Nancy duPont Acheson, Mr. and Mrs. Alexis duPont, Malcolm Forbes

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