Collecting Men: Early 20th-Century Figurative Art
BY Christopher Harrity
March 31 2014 5:30 AM ET
Art Deco Bas-Relief Panel by Rene Chambellan
One of the two or three most important sculptors creating bas-relief panels, grills, and other decorative elements for America's art deco buildings in the 1920s and 1930s, Rene Chambellan is known today for his work at Rockefeller Center in New York: a set of dolphin fountain heads, and a massive figure of Atlas in collaboration with Lee Lawrie. He was also a superb medalist and is well known today for creating the Newbery medal (for excellence in children's literature) and the Caldecott medal (for excellence in children's book illustration). This rare bronze panel, mounted on a walnut plaque, was sculpted in the 1930s; the medal was awarded annually through the 1970s (this example went to the Sunolin Chemical Company).