Katherine Ward Lane Weems (1899 - 1989) was the daughter of the president of the board of trustees of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She studied art under the supervision of Charles Grafly at the Boston Museum School. Among her mentors were John Singer Sargent and Anna Hyatt Huntington who both had studios nearby. Anna Hyatt became an inspiration to her and was to introduce her to the leading figures at the National Sculpture Society. In 1926 she was to win two medals for her sculpture, a Bronze Medal at the Philadelphia Sesquicentennial Exposition, and the Widener Medal at the Pennsylvania Academy.
After these successes she exhibited her works at several galleries in the major cities of the United States. Lake many of the sculptors in the Art Deco period Katherine followed the style with sleek flowing lines. In 1933 she was given the commission to do the red brick facade of the Harvard University biological Lab. This was accomplished by chiseling the exterior of the building with a pneumatic drill, creating a linear frieze with over 30 animals across the top story of the building, installing three bronze doors, and two larger than life sculptures of Rhinos on the front steps. She married in 1947 but continued to exhibit under her maiden name of Lane. Among the accomplishments, awards, and honors given to Katherine Lane Weems were she created the film From Clay to Bronze in 1930, served as a member of the Massachusetts Arts Commission form 1941-1947, elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and became a full academician of the National Academy.
In 1965 a permanent gallery was established at the Boston Museum of Science to show her small animal bronzes and drawings and in 1987 the museum established the Katherine Lane Weems Chair in Decorative Arts. her work is owned and exhibited by: The museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Brook Green Gardens in South Carolina, The Pennsylvania Academy, the Baltimore Museum. Among the monuments she was commissioned to do were the six dolphins is at the New England Aquarium and the fountain at the Boston Esplanade Plaza.
The life of Katherine Lane Weems is documented in the following books:
Dictionary of American Sculptors by Glenn Opitz
American Women Sculptors by Charlotte Rubinstein (1990)
Masters of American Sculpture by Donald M. Reynolds
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