biography of John Bernard FLANNAGAN (1895-1942)

Birth place: Fargo, ND

Death place: NYC

Addresses: NYC/Woodstock, NY

Profession: Sculptor, medalist

Studied: Minneapolis Inst. Arts, 1914-17, with R. Koehler

Exhibited: Whitney Studio Club, 1925; Weyhe Gal., NYC, 1927-38; AIC; Arts Club Chicago, 1934; WMAA, 1924-28, 1933, 1936-41; Vassar College, 1936; Bard College, 1937; MMA, 1940 (prize); Buccholz Gal., NYC, 1942; MoMA, 1942; Soc. Indp. A.

Member: NSS; Am. Artists Congress; Guggenheim Fellowship, 1932; Woodstock AA

Work: WMAA; MMA; Vassar; Cincinnati Mus.; Pennsylvania Mus.; Soc. Arts & Crafts, Detroit; Arts & Crafts Club, New Orleans; Honolulu Acad. Arts; Dublin (Ireland) Mus. Art; Phillips Acad., Andover, MA; Cleveland Mus. Art; Harvard Univ.; Wichita Art Mus.; Woodstock AA

Comments: He started out carving directly into wood, and began carving in stone in 1926, refining early primitive influences into powerful, unified sculptures of animals, for which he is mostly known. Flannagan's two visits to Ireland, in 1930 (sponsored by the Weyhe Gallery) and 1932-33 (through a fellowship awarded by the Guggenheim), impressed on him the beauty of fieldstone and Celtic art and mythology, and were of great significance in his development. He continued to draw throughout his career. Flannagan committed suicide because of physical disabilities resulting from a 1939 hit-and-run automobile accident. His birthplace had been previously listed as Woburn, MA.

Sources: WW40; Dorothy Miller and Carl Zigrosser, The Sculpture of John B. Flannagan (exh. cat., NYC: Museum of Modern Art, 1942), includes reprint of Flannagan's 1941 essay The Image in the Rock;" Woodstock's Art Heritage, 85; Baigell, Dictionary; Fort, The Figure in American Sculpture, 194."