Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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MacDONALD, James Wilson Alexander, sculptor, born in Steubenville, Ohio, 25 August, 1824. In 1840 he saw for the first time a plaster bust of Washington, which, together with his natural apti-tu(le for drawing, decided him to study sculpture. He went to St. Louis in 1844, where he was employed in a business-house during the day, and at night studied art. His earliest production in marble was a bust of Thomas H. Benton (1854), the first of the kind produced west of the Mississippi. Later he made his earliest ideal work, a bust of Joan of Arc, which he followed by a full-length figure called "Italia." Mr. MacDonald settled in New York in 1865. He has executed a colossal head of Washington for Prospect park, Brooklyn, New York ; a colossal bronze statue of Edward Bates for Forest park, St. Louis, Missouri ; a statue of Fitz-Greene Halleck for Central park, New York ; and a colossal equestrian statue of General Nathaniel Lyon. His other works include busts of Charles O'Conor, James T. Brady, William Cullen Bryant, Peter Cooper, Thurlow Weed, and John Van Buren. He has painted portraits and landscapes in oil, lectured on art and science, and "written analytical criticisms on American artists.
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