Cyrus Dallin

1861 – 1944

Cyrus Dallin


Springville, Utah


Native American figure sculpture, portrait busts, statues

A sculptor of Indian figures and portraits, Cyrus Dallin created work that showed Indians as having noble bearing, simplicity, dignity, and elaborate costumes.  This was a departure from earlier depictions of them “as a pitiful but appealing remnant of a once-proud and noble race.” (Baigell 85)  He was a careful student of anatomy, costume, and psysiognomay, and his highly realistic figures made them seem natural, interesting and worth knowing as human beings.

In 1879, he was sponsored by Utah patrons supportive of his genius and headed for Boston to study with Truman Bartlett. On the way, he met Crow Indians that he later used as subjects. He also studied in Paris in 1880 at the Academie Julian and was further inspired to depict western subjects when he saw Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in Paris. He sculpted Signal of Peace, the figure of an Indian, which won honorable mention as his entry in the Paris Salon. Much encouraged by this success, he did a series of sculptures on related subjects.