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A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Angela Gregory (1903–1990) was a talented and prolific Louisiana sculptor working in the twentieth century. Gregory was the daughter of Selina Bres, one of the original Newcomb potters, and began attending Newcomb College herself at the young age of fourteen. There, she learned clay modeling and relief casting under Ellsworth Woodward. Gregory graduated from Newcomb College in 1925 with a degree in design and a scholarship to attend the Paris branch of Parsons School of Fine and Applied Arts. While in Paris, she became the only American ever accepted into the studio of famed sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, a protege of Auguste Rodin. Bourdelle was so impressed by the young artist’s eagerness to learn stone carving that her planned three weeks in the studio turned into three years.
Gregory returned to New Orleans in 1928 and quickly received the first of many public commissions, including a sculpture for the façade of the New Orleans Criminal District Court Building on Tulane Avenue. Gregory went on to become one of few women sculptors of her era to complete three civic monuments, most notably the Bienville Monument in the French Quarter. Gregory also completed work on the profile portraits of Thomas Jefferson, John James Audubon, and six other historical figures on the façade of the new State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
In 1941, Gregory became state supervisor of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project in Louisiana, a role she accepted when Caroline Durieux stepped down. During World War II, she became assistant architectural engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, using her artistic talent to design camouflage for the U.S. Army. After retiring in 1976, she was named an outstanding alumna at Newcomb College, Tulane University. In 1982, she was honored as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the cultural minister of France.
Angela Gregory, Untitled (female bust), date unknown. Plaster, 19 x 16 x 10 inches. Gift from the Estate of Angela Gregory (Gregory Art, LLC.). Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2014.020.001
Gregory and Caroline Durieux were both taught by Ellsworth Woodard at Newcomb College and both served as Louisiana state supervisors of the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
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