Zorach, William (zŏrˈäk) [key], 1887–1966, American sculptor, b. Lithuania. His family emigrated to the United States when he was four and settled near Cleveland. After studying at the Cleveland School of Art and the National Academy of Design, New York City, Zorach spent two years in France. Shortly after his return to the United States he took up permanent residence in New York. In 1922 he turned from painting to sculpture. Without formal training in this field he evolved a personal and monumental style that placed him among the foremost sculptors of his day. Carving mainly in stone and in wood, he is known for the simplicity and solidity of his forms. His works are in many private and public collections. In New York the Whitney Museum owns his Pegasus and Future Generation; the Radio City Music Hall has his Spirit of the Dance. Zorach taught at the Art Students League.
See his Zorach Explains Sculpture (1960) and Art Is My Life (1967); study by J. I. H. Baur (1959).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.