Saturday, January 7, 2017

inSPIREd Sunday

January 2017 - Orlando FL

We went to this fabulous Sculpture Garden the other day and a lot of the works were religious so I will feature those pieces here.

Click here to see his other works.

Albin Polasek (February 14, 1879 – May 19, 1965) was a Czech-American sculptor and educator. He created more than four hundred works during his career, two hundred of which are now displayed in the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park, Florida.

At age 37, after periods of residence in Rome and New York City, he was invited to head the sculpture department at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he remained for nearly thirty years.

In 1950, Polasek retired at age 70 to Winter Park, Florida. Within months he suffered a stroke that left his left side paralyzed; he subsequently completed eighteen major works with his right hand only, including "Victory of Moral Law," the artist's comment on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Towards the end of 1950,at age 71, he married former student Ruth Sherwood who died 22 months later in October, 1952. In 1961, Polasek married Emily Muska Kubat. Upon his death in 1965, Polasek was buried beside his first wife in Winter Park's Palm Cemetery, where his 12th Station of the Cross (1939) is his monument. Emily M. K. Polasek died in 1988.

This was his retirement home and now houses the office, gallery and his studio.

The first thing that you see when you step into the garden is the Stations of the Cross.
These discs depict the Stations of the Cross, 14 key moments in the final hours of the life of Jesus. The installation is in the Polasek Museum's sculpture gardens.
The originals are in St. Cecelia's Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska.
The Stations of the Cross, the monumental work of renowned artist Albin Polasek, are the circular medallions on the pillars of the nave. The fourteen stations, sculptured and then cast in bronze relief, consumed three years of the artist's time and talents. Polasek considered these his crowning work of sculpture. And, as is the habit of old world artists, modeled his self portrait as one of the figures in the twelfth station.


Madonna and Child

The original Pilgrim at the Eternal Gate is in Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland.

He put a corn cob in her hand to acknowledge the hard work of corn farmers. He called it “Our Lady of Corn”, but it ended up being called “Our Lady of Nebraska” by the church.

On display in his studio is his earliest work in the collection, Nativity, which Polasek carved when he was just 15 years old. He used his family cow and villagers from his hometown in Frenstat, Moravia as models for the figures. He also used natural dyes, such as berries and rust, as paints.


While living in Chicago he created the original Forest Idyll; "Victorious Christ" for St. Cecelia's Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska.

There are several versions of the crucifix at the museum.

Deter­mined that this cru­ci­fix for the Main Altar at St. Cecilia Cathe­dral should be his supreme achieve­ment, Polasek devoted a large part of 1939 in mak­ing sketch after sketch in plas­ti­lene clay. One of these stud­ies, upon which he had worked for many weeks, he had cast in plas­ter – only to dis­card it as sta­tic and unin­spired. And then sud­denly, he found what he wanted. Start­ing a new model one morn­ing, he fin­ished it in a day: the fig­ure almost seemed to make itself. There is no sug­ges­tion of defeat in this fig­ure. It shows the dying Christ at the moment of his utter­ance, “Father, for­give them, for they know not what they do!” The head is uplifted, the whole fig­ure vibrant and alight with the tri­umph of the spirit over suf­fer­ing and death.

There is one in the gardens.

Another in the studio.

He was also an active member at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church. Polasek’s artwork was highly influenced by his catholic upbringing. About one-third of his sculptures are religious in nature. Polasek also restored Lake Eola Park’s Confederate Memorial after vandals damaged it in 1964.

When he had a stroke he built a chapel beside his home so he could go there for solitude and meditation.

These were done in crayon after his stroke. The right side of his body was not affected so he turned to art.

If you look closely at the man in the bottom right corner you will see Polasek inserting himself kissing the sash of Jesus.

“St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio,” dedicated in 1933, was created by Ruth Sherwood, his first wife, another one stands in Chautauqua NY and in Riverside CA.

This is Ruth's sculpture of Albin.


  1. Lovely art work, Jackie! Have a safe trip west.

  2. Very nice place to visit, great art work as well

  3. Great information and images. Thanks

  4. Thank you for introducing me to this so interesting artist. I especially like the idea of an Our Lady of Corn and of the upturned face on the cross.

  5. My goodness he was prolific. So much detail in his work. I love the corn.

  6. I like 'Our Lady of Nebraska' sculpture. Very interesting post.


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