William RIMMER Artist - A Stan Klos Website
William, artist, born in Liverpool, England, 20 February, 1816; died in South Milford, Massachusetts, 20 August, 1879. His family emigrated to this country in 1818, and he began early to carve figures in gypsum and to paint. In 1846 he began the study of medicine, going to Bridgewater and then to South Boston, and supporting himself by painting. He remained in the profession sixteen years, and it was not until 1860 that he produced his first important work of art. This was a colossal head of
"St. Stephen," carved directly from granite without a model. It was followed by the
"Falling Gladiator" (1861), which is now in the Museum of fine arts, Boston, and which attracted wide attention. It was remarkable especially as showing his profound knowledge of the construction and movement of the human figure. He was urged to come to Boston and open an art-school, which he did, lecturing also before the Lowell institute and at Harvard on art anatomy.
In 1867 he became director of the School of design for women in the Cooper institute, New York city, where he remained four years, after which he returned to Boston. His other works include a statue of Alexander Hamilton, in Boston, and
"Lions Fighting" (1874). Dr. Rimmer also executed numerous paintings, but he felt too deeply the want of opportunity and of a proper appreciation of his advanced ideas to produce many original works. His life was mainly devoted to teaching. He published
"Elements of Design" (Boston, 1872; revised ed., 1879) and "Art Anatomy"
Contemporary Comments on the 1877 Appleton's Biography
for your very useful website William Rimmer.
First: St. Stephen is life-size, not "colossal"
Second 1861 Falling Gladiator is not in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston--one
in MFA, B is 20th century bronze cast; orig. plaster is in Smithsonian Museum of
Third: he became director of the Cooper Union school in 1866, not 1867
Fourth: Fighting Lions is 1870-1871, not 1874
Fifth: first edition of Elements of Design is 1864, not 1872
-- Dr. Jeffrey Weidman