Born in Albany, McCartan studied at the Pratt Institute with Herbert Adams and at the Art Students League of New York with George Grey Barnard and Hermon Atkins MacNeil. He traveled to Paris and worked under the tutelage of Jean Antoine Injalbert, then returned to the United States in 1910. Four years thereafter he was named the Director of the sculpture department at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York City. McCartan is best known for his highly stylized and very refined female forms, which are often accompanied by a hound or faun. His work is demarcated by its qualities of strength and elegance; McCartan worked in an Art Deco vein but was not considered a Modernist and as such he worked mostly within the circle of the National Sculpture Society.
Museums and Public Collections
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts
Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina
Century Association, New York
Currier Gallery of art, New Hampshire
Eugene Field Memorial 1922, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago
Indianapolis Museum of art, Indiana
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Philadelphia Academy of the Arts
Reading Public Museum
Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.