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For more information, please visit the Bela Lyon Pratt Historical Society web site at: By Peter O’Brien, May 2016 The Beginning … Breitenbach manufactured Gude’s Pepto-Mangan, a mixture of iron and manganese.The Ebay dealer’s offering of “three journals about Jamaica Plains, Mass” was priced right even though the conditions he described ranged from good to fair to poor. Pepto-Mangan was claimed to cure a seemingly endless list of ailments.However, given that she herself had been raised in an artistic atmosphere surrounded by music and art, it was likely that she might indeed encourage her child to follow such a path.By the time Bela was five years old, she had recorded on a little piece of notepaper: One day after Bela had passed his 5th birthday our family physician chanced to be at our house.Although his sculptures reflected little of the more “modern” cubist school, the character of his pieces was always clearly American in their demeanor.Pratt’s wife, Helen Lugarda Pray Pratt, also a fine sculptor herself, carefully preserved quantities of photographs of his works, numerous articles referring to his work, as well as historic letters and documents.His extended family often included brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews, who spent summers on North Haven Island, Maine, where, at his closest friend, Frank Weston Benson’s recommendation, he purchased property in 1903 on Bartlett’s Harbor, a short walk through the woods to Benson’s home and studio.
Thereafter, Bela was allowed to ‘play’ with beeswax to his great delight.They tell of his colleagues, his family, his struggles and successes, all the while defining what is now referred to as “The Boston School of Art.” They are a veritable treasure trove of information, carved from his own hand. Follow the transformation of a work of sculpture from the initial idea to reality. This article and photograph provided courtesy of the Bela Lyon Pratt Historical Society.It’s been a long time coming, but finally, Bela Lyon Pratt, eminent American sculptor enters the 21st century! Copyright 2011, Bela Lyon Pratt Historical Society, All Rights Reserved.There he enjoyed farming activities such as raising chickens and cows.He even, as a cash flow enterprise, planted pear and apple trees as well as vast crops of potatoes!
Life for this busy man, who created more than 180 pieces of sculpture in less than fifty hears, circled around his home in Jamaica Plain MA, his studio, his professorship as head of the Sculpture Department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.