Artists & Designers
Donald De Lue (1897-1988)
Born in Boston in 1897, Donald De Lue came of age as a sculptor under the tutelage of Paul Manship, with whom he studied in Paris between 1918 and 1922. In 1915 De Lue won the prestigious Kimball Prize, awarded by the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Boston. During the 1920s and 30s, De Lue achieved prominence as a sculptor. His style, reminiscent of Manship's and influenced by Art Deco precepts, was immensely popular both in France and the United States. De Lue's popularity peaked during the New Deal (1933-1938) when he was a frequent contributor to Federal sculpture competitions. He received Honorable Mention for his maquette for the monumental sculptures to adorn the Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, DC, and achieved widespread praise for his figure of the Rocket Thrower, one of the sculptures cast for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, which is still installed on site at the Unisphere, in Flushing Meadows, NY.
From his childhood, De Lue had been interested in the myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and studied the sculpture of that era. Throughout his career, he focused on creating works exploring "cosmic beings and their effect on the human spirit." As much as De Lue absorbed from his study of antiquities, his subjects also bore the hallmark of his years with Manship, who shared De Lue's interest in a modern, universal style.
Eleanor Jones Harvey, DMA Acquisition proposal (1997.20), May 1997.
Biography and portrait
Find out more about Donald De Lue through the Smithsonian American Art Museum