2010, Inkjet Print
American sculptor Hendrik Andersen had an early champion in the writer Henry James who was thirty years his senior. They maintained a relationship, which is ambiguous, through correspondence and infrequent visits during the last 16 years of the writer’s life. Andersen had a plan for A World City, which was to have been populated by gargantuan statuary of which many of these groupings are macquettes. He believed that art and especially Beaux Arts Architecture could bring world peace and harmony. The goal of establishing a single controlled city seemed megalomaniacal to James and its artistic expression was anathema to him. He was unable to see "where this colossal multiplication of divinely naked and intimately associated gentlemen and ladies, flaunting their bellies and bottoms and their other private affairs, in the face of day, is going, on any American possibility, to land you." Rome had long held the place of retreat from the contemporary world and an overheated classicism provided an acceptable refuge for the exotic longings of travelers and ex-patriots.