|Death Date: August 26, 1988
|Born October 5, 1897, in Dorchester, a poorer section of Boston, Donald Harcourt Delue displayed an early talent for sculpture and drawing by creating his own Sistine Chapel. His mother tried to enroll him in the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, but Bela Lyon Pratt, head of modeling judged the twelve-year-old Donald too young to enter the life drawing classes. Instead it was recommended that Donald enter the studio of his own pupil assistant, Richard Recchia.
Parental fighting and a strained relationship with his father brought little harmony to the Delue household. At the Age of Fourteen Delue began to slip away to Recchia’s studio instead of going to school and eventually moved near the studio. When he was sixteen his father committed suicide, leaving him to fend for himself, so Recchia and Pratt became more than teachers and mentors to Delue.
Upon the death of Pratt in 1917, Delue decided that he would travel to Europe. Paris in the first year after World War I was not an easy place to be a sculptor. He studied drawing at the Academie Julian, Colarossi and the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. Delue received an urgent message that his mother was ill, forcing him to return to American in 1922. His mother died in the fall of 1922. Delue stayed in America and plunged in the New York Art market.
At the age of Thirty-six Delue married Martha Naomi Cross, who began acting as his manager.
His work through the years included commissions for three statues representing the South at the Gettysburg National Battlefield, the Harvey Firestone Memorial in Akron, statues of Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Willard Gibbs for Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh and the” Washington At Prayer” at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.