Gaston Lachaise

Gaston Lachaise preparing clay model for bronze sculpture of James Sibley Watson, Jr., 90.3, MAG archives

Gaston Lachaise was born in France and came to the United States in 1906 in pursuit of the love of his life, Isabel Dutaud Nagle. Eventually, they married and settled in New York City.  Isabel’s son attended Harvard with James Sibley Watson, Jr., the son of MAG’s founder Emily Sibley Watson.  Through that connection, Lachaise acquired patrons in Rochester who were interested in giving him commissions, including portrait busts as well as a major garden sculpture. Watson published an avant-garde arts journal called The Dial, in which he included Lachaise’s work, which boosted the sculptor’s visibility and popularity.  Lachaise usually created sculpture in bronze, marble and stone. His most beloved subject was his wife Isabel, and renditions of her ample nude body have been carved in stone and cast in bronze many times.