Will Hicok Low (1853-1932)
Date: 1912
Medium: Charcoal and chalk on paper
Dimensions: 19 H x 17 3/4 W
Inscription: Signed and dated, lower left: 3 July 1912 WHL / Paul Deigenhart
Credit: Gift of Miss Mary B. Danaher, niece of the artist, through the courtesy of her sister, Elsie Danaher (Mrs. Frederick W.) Pratt
Accession Number: 1969.37
Comments: Will Hicok Low became one of the leading decorative artists of his generation, embodying allegorical and idealized concepts in traditional classical form. He moved from book illustrations and easel paintings to monumental mural paintings that became popular after the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This charcoal and chalk drawing was used as a study for the painted mural panel in New York's State Education Building. The mural panel is entitled Icarus, the Sky-Soarer and was completed in 1915. It was included in the mural scheme to represent, in Low's words, "man's attempt to break through his natural limitations." The panel ties modern advances such as the airplane with the ancient Greek myth of Icarus, who tried to fly on human-manufactured wings.