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Sabin Howard, Modern Renaissance Master

James Andrew at Sabin Howard's atalier

James Andrew at Sabin Howard's atalier

By a stroke of good luck (and with a little help from the all pervasive social network, Facebook) I was introduced to the celebrated sculptor Sabin Howard. Needless to say a studio visit was in order to see some of Howard’s masterworks in person (an absolute must for sculpture), and yes, the visit was just how I imagined it would be to visit a Michelangelo or da Vinci!

There is no doubt that Howard’s work owes much to history, but like the work of the great masters that have come before him, his work also speaks to the present with a freshness that pushes well beyond mere imitation of the past.

Work by Sabin Howard

Work by Sabin Howard

Howard’s sculpture is firmly rooted in the figurative—these are hugely physical works after all, and very much in the grand academic tradition—but it is the suggestion of the spirit, of an ineffable beyond that immediately strikes one. In fact, this has very much been the gauge of great sculpture, and so it doesn’t surprise us that he’s been likened to major artists like Donatello and Rodin.

Sabin Howard's atalier

Sabin Howard's atalier

Despite his rebellious nature as a teenager, Howard tells us, he could not resist the allure of art—sensing the immense grandeur, grace and nobility in it—a world that aspired to the sacred, exemplifying man at his best. As the story goes, it took a while for inspiration to spark action, (and perhaps it was a rather unpleasant job as a cabinet maker in South Philly that helped to create that aha! moment), but he eventually did call his father to announce that he wanted to go to art school. His father, not entirely convinced, wanted to know how long this phase would last! Astoundingly without a proper portfolio in hand, he set himself to ninety days of intensive drawing, and upon presentation of these drawings, he gained entrance to the world renowned Philadelphia College of Art.

Work by Sabin Howard

Work by Sabin Howard

After twenty years of working in academia, Howard credits his wife for providing the initiative to make a living from his personal art—and thankfully so! His work is now sought after by countless collectors and museums. What an inspirational journey, reminding us all to pursue our passions in life and to never settle for little fantasies.

The Art of Life

The Art of Life

Do acquire his book The Art of Life for an in depth treatment of the figurative tradition and its relevance in the art world today.

Howard is currently working on a monumental Apollo—we can’t wait to see.

Elated to be in the presence of such brilliance at Sabin Howard’s studio, I’m sporting a Tom Ford royal and white mulberry silk glen plaid jacket, pale blue cotton shirt with contrast white collar and French cuffs and golden silk knit tie, Charvet Paris yellow and white silk retro print pocket square, pearl and pale blue sapphire cuff links, Paul Smith pale grey light weight wool pant, Gucci navy leather slip on shoes, Ralph Lauren navy leather D ring belt and my fragrance is Creed Original Cologne.

4 Comments

  1. Marc de Paris says:

    Thank you, James, for this Wonderful discovery . There are many connections with classical sculpture, but he has his own style. Your picture is amazing, a work of art. It makes me think of the group “La Danse” made for the front of the Opera Garnier (the original is now at the museum d’Orsay). Do you know it? Congratulations for this post.

  2. James Andrew says:

    Dear Marc,

    So thrilled to hear you are enjoying this post!

    I am quite mesmerized by Howard’s very powerful works.

    I am reminded of the work of French Sculptor Henri Cremier.

    I look forward to seeing “La Danse” when I finally return to Paris.

    Cheers and Many Thanks

    JA

  3. I couldn’t tell which one was James in the first photo. All such classical figures.

  4. wendy woo says:

    Dear James,
    What an excellent find!
    I find Howard’s personal pursuit very inspiring.
    Here’s to those who are willing to take risks!
    To the winner goes the spoils!

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