Theme/Style – Art Nouveau, Modernism, figurative art
Media – Sculptures
Artistic Focus – One of America’s most important 20th-century sculptors, Robert Aitken became known early in his career as a masterful student of anatomy and costume. Always striving to maintain originality in his works as opposed to acting as a mere technician, Aitken produced sculptures in which the figures seem not only alive but about to move; not merely posing but captured deep in thought.
Career Highlights –
- Robert Ingersoll Aitken was born in San Francisco, where he studied at the Mark Hopkins Institute under Arthur Mathews and Douglas Tilden before making the first of two visits to Paris in 1897.
- Aitken then returned to San Francisco, where he won the first of many significant commissions.
- He returned to Paris in 1904 for three years, and then established his studio in New York City, where he spent the rest of his life.
- Although he no longer lived in San Francisco, Aitken contributed several important sculptures to the City’s 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.
- Robert Aitken’s many other works include the bronze doors to the Charles H. Crocker Mausoleum in San Francisco, and his “Victory” monument, a tribute to Admiral Dewey’s victory at Manila Bay, which stands in the City’s Union Square.