Jo Davidson, Sculptor (1883-1952)

Jo Davidson is considered one of the most renowned American sculptors of the twentieth century. He spent his career sculpting visionaries like Albert Einstein, Gertrude Stein (whose portrait-sculpture is on permanent display in Bryant Park, New York City), Helen Keller, and Walt Whitman. In December of 1933 Jo Davidson arrived in Washington D.C., by invitation from Sara Roosevelt, to sculpt a bust of President Roosevelt. Davidson worked quickly and completed the final piece in one to two visits. Davidson would go on to complete many sculptures of the president at many different scales and the two men became friends and kept in touch for many years. 

President Roosevelt won me completely with his charm, his beautiful voice and his freedom from constraint. He had an unshakable faith in man…. In Roosevelt’s tremendous relief program, the artist too was included, and the influence of the WPA projects was tremendous.
— Jo Davidson
Jo Davidson with his bust of President Roosevelt at the White House in 1933. 

Jo Davidson with his bust of President Roosevelt at the White House in 1933. 

A few of Davidson's presidents. (Back, lef to right: President Ortiz, Argentina; President Roosevelt, United States; President Vargas, Brazil. Front, left to right: President Morinigo, Paraguary; President Aguirre Cerda, Chile; President Medina, Venezuela; President Lopez Contreras, Venezuela; President Santos, Columbia.)

A few of Davidson's presidents. (Back, lef to right: President Ortiz, Argentina; President Roosevelt, United States; President Vargas, Brazil. Front, left to right: President Morinigo, Paraguary; President Aguirre Cerda, Chile; President Medina, Venezuela; President Lopez Contreras, Venezuela; President Santos, Columbia.)