William Hunt Diederich (1884 - 1953)
Jockey and His Mount, n.d.
18 x 19 x 8 inches
Known for his stylized Art Deco figures and animals in iron and large-scale mural works in metal, Wilhelm Hunt Diederich was born in Szent-Grot, Austria-Hungary into an eminent family, including William Morris Hunt and the architect, Richard Morris Hunt. He immigrated to America in 1894, and eight years later traveled West (1902), spending a couple of years in Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona living as a cowboy.
He became friends with sculptor Paul Manship while studying with him at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and they later traveled to Europe together. Diederich also went to Africa and ended up traveling and working in Europe for ten years. In Paris he studied at the Academy Julian from 1904 to 1905, and became friends with Elie Nadelman, Jules Pascin and Ferdinand Leger. He also spent long periods in southern France and Mexico.
He was well known in the upper circles of international society and respected by his fellow sculptors. Exhibition venues included the Pennsylvania Academy, Art Institute of Chicago, Salon d'Automne, Museum of Modern Art and the Salons of America. He was active in the art colony of Woodstock, New York and exhibited with the Woodstock Art Association.
He produced little after 1928, when he fell from a ladder, injuring his leg, in his castle in Germany. He returned to the United States and lived in Tappan, New York.