Valerie Carberry Gallery

JOHN STORRS (1885-1956)

1885 Born in Chicago, IL.
1905 With a Chicago friend, Sidney Jenkins, Storrs traveled to England, Belgium, the Netherlands and finally Germany, where Storrs' sister Mary was studying music. While in Germany, Storrs decided to study art seriously and began apprenticing with sculptor Arthur Bock in Hamburg.
1906 After traveling with family through Europe, Storrs moved to Paris. Studied at Académie Montparnasse and traveled with friends to Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Egypt.
1908 Returned to Chicago to work in his father's real estate office. Began taking night classes at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts.
1909 Enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Became interested in Greek and Roman antiquities during this time after numerous visits to the Museum of Fine Arts.
1910 Enrolled at the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts and studied with Charles Grafly and Thomas Anschutz.
1911-13 Returned to Paris to study at the Académie Colarossi and the Académie de la Grand Chaumière. Befriended Jacques Lipschitz. Began studies with Rodin in 1912 and was immediately impressed by Rodin’s techniques and philosophies.
1914 Married Marguerite De Ville Chabrol, a novelist and correspondent for Paris Temps. Exhibited at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
1917 Storrs completes a deathbed drypoint of Rodin at the request of his family. Began working on a series of 17 woodcuts to accompany a deluxe edition of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself.
1918 Storrs began frequently experimenting with mother/child themes, most likely due to the birth of his only daughter, Monique, and a commission to design a war medal for a Paris-based association for widows and orphans of World War I.
1920 First solo exhibition held at Folsom Galleries, New York. Many sculptures exhibited show strong influence of Cubism and Vorticism, the concepts of which were introduced to Storrs by painter Jessie Dismorr a few years prior.
1921 After the death of his father, Storrs begins a long legal battle contesting the stipulations in his father’s will that state he must live for 8 months each year in the United States to receive full income from his estate. Purchases Château de Chantecaille, a 15th century estate in Mer, Loir-et-Cher, France.
1923 Solo exhibition at the Société Anonyme, New York (later traveled to the Arts Club of Chicago). Storrs begins making sculpture that resembles skyscrapers, columns and smokestacks out of stone, terra cotta and mixed metals.
1928-32 Commissioned to make a statue of the Roman goddess Ceres for the top of the Chicago Board of Trade building. Traveled between Paris, New York and Chicago frequently, meeting Alfred Stieglitz at his An American Place gallery, Buckminster Fuller, Isaumu Noguchi and Frank Lloyd Wright. He was also commissioned to complete numerous sculptures for the Chicago World’s Fair. During this period Storrs began to paint seriously and his first painting exhibition was held at Chester H. Johnson Galleries in Chicago.
1934 Began working for the WPA Art Project.
1944 Arrested by Gestapo with daughter, Monique, who had been active in the French underground and was again imprisoned in a military prison.
1954 Elected president of the École de la Loire, a group of artists active in the Loire Valley.
1956 Died at Château de Chantecaille.