Few artists have achieved the national prominence of Utah-born Mahonri Young (1877-1957). A grandson of Brigham Young, he is known in Utah for his Sea Gull and This is the Place monuments. But it was for his statuettes of street workers and prize fighters that he received the greatest accolades, while his life-size statue of one of the first black professional boxers, Joe Gans, earned him Life magazine's title of "the George Bellows of American sculpture."
Although he maintained strong ties to his home state, Young lived and worked in New York, France, Italy, and southern California. He associated with such luminaries as Leo Stein, who took him to Pablo Picasso's first exhibit in a Parisian furniture store; Alfred Maurer; Paul Manship; Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; and Robert Henri and the Group of Eight, principals of the Ash Can School of American realism. It is with this movement that Young is represented in most art textbooks. He also helped organize the International Exhibition of Modern Art, which introduced European modernists to the American public.
A master of all the tools of his trade, Young drew, painted, and produced award-winning prints as well as sculptures, some of which are still housed in major American museums. At the prestigeous Art Students League in Manhattan he taught, over the course of his career, every subject in the curriculum.
This is the first comprehensive biography of Mahonri Young. Accompanied by an impressive array of color and black-and-white illustrations, it constitutes a fitting tribute to his contributions to a national repertoire, as well as to his own religious and cultural heritage.
David W. and Beatrice C. Evans Biography Award, Mountain West Center for Regional Studies