Born in 1871, Henry Merwin Shrady, the son of a successful and well-known physician, was two years into his training to become a lawyer when an onset of typhoid fever caused his withdrawal. During the years of his convalescence he took up drawing and watercolor, concentrating on household pets and the animals he observed first hand at the Bronx Zoo. An early equestrian group, Artillery Going Into Action, 1898-99, caught the attention of New York jeweler and bronze founder Theodore B. Starr and of American sculptor Karl Bitter who encouraged Shrady to enlarge his models Monarch of the Plains, 1899, and Bull Moose for inclusion in the 1901 Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo NY. Both models were among the earliest examples cast by the lost wax casting process, a process pioneered at Roman Bronze Works, New York, just a decade earlier., Impressed by the superb modeling and quality of casting, Frederick Remington (1861-1909) sought to utilize the new process himself, casting his own model The Northerner, at Roman Bronze Works in 1900 and henceforth cast exclusively in lost wax for the remainder of his career.
Shrady’s first major commission, an equestrian statue of George Washington at Valley Forge, 1901, for Brooklyn’s Continental Army Plaza, won him high praise among America’s most notable sculptors including Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial. Other major commissions followed including the General Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington DC.
Henry Merwin Shrady’s early studies into biology and anatomy and his intimate knowledge of the musculature of horses, coupled with a concentration on the academic study of equine anatomy, quickly catapulted him to become one of America’s finest animalier sculptors.
Standing erect, alert, and proud, Henry Merwin Shrady’s Standing Hunter Stallion, 1903, exhibits a mastery and command of equine anatomy and form. Though he was born in New York City, Henry Merwin Shrady was an avid horseman and knew the animal well, riding often on his family’s estate in upstate New York or, when in the city, on his own saddle horse around Central Park. Modeled in 1903 Standing Hunter Stallion may have been inspired by Shrady’s visits to the Edwin Gould family hunting lodge in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Shrady had worked for Gould (son of railroad tycoon Jay Gould) at the Continental Match Company from 1895 – 1900 and was also his brother-on-law. This cast exhibits a rich, deep, liquid green brown patina.
Estate of Paul Doll Jr., Lake Toxaway, NC. until 2020