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Tony Rosenthal

American, 1914-2009


Tony Rosenthal

Cellist, c. 1955

23 x 8 12 x 6 12 in
58 x 22 x 17 cm


Bernard Rosenthal(aka Tony Rosenthal) was born in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago in 1914. Rosenthal took sculpture classes at the Art Institute of Chicago during high school and decided on his career after seeing plaster reproductions of the work of Russian sculptor Alexander Archipenko at the University of Michigan where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1936. On returning to Chicago, he approached Archipenko who was living in Chicago at the time and arranged to receive lessons in exchange for casting some of Archipenko’s terra-cotta figures.Rosenthal, who worked in a semi-realistic figurative style did his first commission, “A Nubian Slave” at the 1939 World’s Fair. Soon after he enrolled in Cranbrook Academy, eager to study with the figurative sculptor Carl Milles. Rosenthal was shipped by the Army Corp in WWII to Britain, where he commanded a unit of artists making topographic models. Rosenthal moved to Los Angeles where he found himself in great demand to produce sculpture for the many buildings going up in Los Angeles. In 1952, Rosenthal became the first instructor of sculpture at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1960, Rosenthal’s style turned to geometric abstraction. Rosenthal moved to New York and began showing at Kootz Gallery and this is where dealer Sam Kootz persuaded Rosenthal to use his nickname, Tony professionally. Rosenthal was later represented by Knoedler and André Emmerich. His works are in the collections of MoMA, Smithsonian, Metropolitan, Guggenheim, Israel Museum, Chrysler Museum, and Fashion Institute.