Leonda Finke, American (1922 - )
Originally from New York City, Finke resides on Long Island. Exhibitions of her work have been held in states along the East Coast and in England, Finland, Germany, and Italy. She is represented in collections at The Butler Institute of American Art, Ohio; Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina; the National Academy of Design, New York; New Jersey's Newark Museum; the National Portrait Gallery and National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; and other major museums, as well as private collections in this country, Japan and Europe. Besides her figurative works, Finke is also recognized internationally for her design and casting of medals, which she has been making since 1986.
Leonda Finke’s sculpture has been primarily concerned with the human figure. “There I find constantly changing forms [and] a wealth of formal vocabulary [that] is a vehicle for expressing the basic emotions that shape our lives.”
Winning her first national prize from the National Association of Women Artists in 1965, she has consistently been recognized for excellence in her work. In 1989 she was awarded the National Sculpture Society’s Gold Medal, in 1990 she received the Alex Ettl Cash Award from the National Academy of Design, and in 1991, 1992, and 1993 she again won prizes and awards from the National Sculpture Society. In 1994 she became an elected Academician of the National Academy of Design.
She has had many solo and group exhibitions, including: Cast Iron Gallery, New York; Newark Museum, New Jersey; the National Academy of Design, New York; the American Numismatic Museum, New York; the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; the Norfolk Museum, Virginia; and The Dallas Museum, Texas. Her 6 foot bronze works have been featured in the Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition at Chesterwood, the national historic museum and grounds of the American sculptor, Daniel Chester French, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Leonda Finke’s work in bronze medals has won recognition from the prestigious Federation Internationale de la Medaille. She was invited to show her work at their Medal Exhibition in Helsinki, Finland in 1990. In 1992, she was both an invited lecturer at the British Museum and had her medal, “Virginia Woolf: A Room of One’s Own” featured on the cover of the British Art Medal society’s British Museum Exhibition Catalogue.
Her bronze portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. Her medals are in the collection of the British Museum, the National Museum of American History (Smithsonian), the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, and in many private collections throughout the United States and Europ