William   Henry   Rinehart

(Union Bridge, Maryland, 13 September 1825 - 28 October 1874, Rome, Italy)



American sculptor. He is considered "the last important American sculptor to work in the classical style." The son of Israel Rinehart (1792-1871) and Mary (Snader) Rinehart (1797-1865), William was born near Union Bridge, Maryland, where he attended school until he was nearly eighteen. He then began to work on his father's farm, but also became the assistant of a stone-cutter in the neighborhood. In 1844, he began an apprenticeship in the stone-yard of Baughman and Bevan on the site of what is now The Peabody Institute in Baltimore, and studied sculpture at what is now called the Maryland Institute College of Art.

In 1855, Rinehart went to Italy to continue his studies. While there he executed two bas-reliefs in marble, "Morning" and "Evening". On his return, two years later, he opened a studio in Baltimore, where he executed numerous busts, a fountain-figure for the main U.S. Post Office in Washington, DC; and two bronze figures, "Backwoodsman" and "Indian", flanking the clock in the House of Representatives Chamber of the U.S. Capitol. In 1858, he settled in Rome where he would live the rest of his life, except for trips back to the United States in 1866 and 1872. Rinehart is buried in Baltimore's renowned Green Mount Cemetery.


Rinehart was financially successful in his lifetime, executing many commissions for wealthy and cultured clients. American patrons often traveled to Italy to meet Rinehart and plan projects for their estates back in America. Rinehart's most important patron and sponsor was William T. Walters, founder of Baltimore's Walters Art Gallery (now the Walters Art Museum).

William Rinehart left his estate in trust for the teaching of sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. In his name, MICA established the Rinehart School of Sculpture and a Rinehart fellowship. The Rinehart School's alumni would include the estimable Hans Schuler, born the year Rinehart died.

According to varied souces, Rinehart's sculptures, neoclassical in style and mostly of human figures, are in public collections such as those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City), the National Gallery of Art, (Washington, D.C.), the Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum of Art (New York City), the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh), and Ohio's Columbus Museum of Art.



Selected works:
Bas-reliefs of "Morning" and "Evening" (c. 1856), plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
"Backwoodsman" and "Indian" (1858), bronze, Monumental Clock, House of Representatives Chamber, U.S. Capitol. Now exhibited in the Capitol crypt.
"Sleeping Children" (1859), marble, Sisson tomb, Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland. At least 25 replicas in plaster and marble.
"Woman of Samaria" (Rebecca at the Well) (1859-1861), marble, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Marble replica (1872) at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"Leander" (1859-1860), marble, Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey. Marble replica (1870) at Chrysler Museum of Art.
Bust of Mrs. William T. Walters (1862), marble, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland. "Hero" (1866), plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. At least 9 marble replicas.
"Antigone Pouring a Libation over the Corpse of Her Brother Polynices" (1867-1870), plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Marble replica (1870) at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Chief Justice Roger B. Taney (1867-1872), bronze, Maryland State House, Annapolis, Maryland. Bronze replica (1872) at Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, Maryland.
"Endymion" (1868-1874), plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Marble replica (1874) at Corcoran Gallery of Art. Bronze replica at Rinehart's grave in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.
"Clytie" (1869-1870), marble, Peabody Institute, Baltimore, Maryland. Marble replica (1872) at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"Latona and Her Children - Apollo and Diana" (1871-1872), plaster, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. Marble replica (1874) at Metropolitan Museum of Art.
"Atalanta" (1874), marble, Baltimore Museum of Art.
"Morning" (c. 1856), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Rinehart's drawing for the "Monumental Clock" (1858), House of Representatives Chamber, U.S. Capitol.
"Sleeping Children" (1859, this example 1869), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Arthur Quartley (American painter; friend of William Henry Rinehart)
Revolutionary War Door, which was completed by Reinhart and hangs in the U.S. Capitol.

Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887-1889.

William Henry Rinehart [findagrave.com]


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