American sculptor, active in his native Philadelphia. His father was a ship s carpenter and Rush worked mainly in wood, progressing from ships figureheads to free-standing figures, such as the Nymph of the Schuylkill (1812), a work which almost perished through exposure to the elements in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, and was preserved only when it was belatedly cast in bronze. His work is vigorous and naturalistic
and he marks the transition from the unselfconscious folk carver to the professional artist. He was one of the prime movers in the foundation of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, which has many examples of his work. Thomas Eakins, another native of Philadelphia, greatly admired Rush s work.
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