Walker Kirtland Hancock
Signed by the artist, date with modelling and casting dates, marked with casting number and foundry symbol of Tallix, Beacon, New York.
Number 2 of an edition of 2.
AWARDED the Helen Foster Barnett Prize of the National Academy of Design, New York, 1935.
EXHIBITED at the 1939 New York's World Fair (plaster).
Walker Hancock's predilection for strict classicism was focused and enhanced by his three years of study at the American Academy in Rome. One of the finest works that followed his return to the United States in 1929 and which showed his sensitive understanding of Greek classical style is "The Diver" of 1933. "The Diver"'s ideal proportions, sense of composition and athletic subject are reminiscent of Myron's "Discobolus".
Hancock created this life-size work in his studio in Lanesville, Massachusetts where he used the sons of Finnish quarry workers as models. He had opened this studio about 1931, after having been drawn to the area by his teacher and mentor, Charles Grafly. The model for "The Diver" is the same as the model shown in Gurney's "Sculpture and Federal Traingle" for the figure in "The Bond of Postal Union". Both works were in progress in the summer 1933. Hancock sent the patinated plaster for "The Diver" to the National Academy of Design in 1935 and to the New York World's Fair in 1939. It was never cast into bronze before the sculptor directly supervised this cast and one other at Tallix foundry in 1988. Hancock considered it one of his finest early works.