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Biographical/Historical Information

Chaim Gross (1904 Austria-1991 United States) was one of the foremost American sculptors who practiced and advocated direct carving in wood. Born in Austrian Galicia, Gross produced a prodigious number of graphic works, many of which were preparatory studies for his sculptures. Gross immigrated to New York City in 1921. He first studied drawing, then sculpture at the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design where he was briefly taught by Elie Nadelman, after a friend's remark that his drawings had a very sculptural quality. In 1927, he studied direct carving for two months at the Art Students with Robert Laurent. That same year he began a teaching career in sculpture at the Educational Alliance, continuing until 1989. In 1932, Gross had his first solo exhibition at The Gallery 144 in New York. He benefited greatly from the support of the New Deal's Public Works of Art Project. In the late 1930s, the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture commissioned him to execute several works for federal buildings, helping to establish him as a major contemporary sculptor.

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Gross, Chaim: CS 100 (Central Synagogue), Leo Baeck Institute, 78.420.