EvAngelos Frudakis, a major figure in the world of 20th-century sculpture and resident of Philadelphia, died Feb. 16, 2019 at the age of 97. Mr. Frudakis had a strong influence in the field of sculpture through his monumental public works as well as through his teaching and mentoring.
Recipient of the Medal of Honor for lifetime achievement by the National Sculpture Society, Mr. Frudakis is best known for his sculptures The Minuteman, installed at the National Guard Building in Washington, DC; The Signer in Independence Hall, Philadelphia; Fishing Bear at the Philadelphia Zoo; Reaching, a bronze female nude in the Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture Museum, Myrtle Beach, SC; and Icarus and Daedalus, a bronze fountain at the Central Arkansas Library, Little Rock, AR.
EvAngelos Frudakis working on his sculpture The Signer.Chester Springs Studio was a special place to Mr. Frudakis, who was awarded a scholarship and attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in the 1940s. He attended the Academy’s country school in Chester Springs in 1941-1942, and after WWII, continued his studies from 1945-1949. Mr. Frudakis called Chester Springs “a Shangri-la” and said the Sculpture Barn “was like a cathedral, with great north light—the three-dimensional lighting that you needed.”
In 2016, Mr. Frudakis returned to Chester Springs for an interview at Historic Yellow Springs, and to revisit sites used by the Academy. Mr. Frudakis studied with Academy instructor Walker Hancock, a noted sculptor who became known as one of the “Monuments Men,” a group of artists that recovered art treasures looted by the Nazis. He also studied with Harry Rosen and Charles Rudy, teachers at the Academy and Amadeo Merli, a master carver of stone. Mr. Frudakis learned how to carve, cast, model, and work with a range of material from terra cotta to stone. His passion for stone carving continued throughout his life. Mr. Frudakis’ younger brother, Zenos Frudakis, also a sculptor, said his brother was “actively carving marble almost until the end.”
Mr. Frudakis has influenced many sculptors through his teaching. After studying at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design in New York, and at PAFA, he taught at the National Academy of Design in New York, at PAFA and at the Frudakis Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He mentored many sculptors who now have careers creating public art, including his brother Zenos, son Tony Frudakis, and daughter Jennifer Frudakis-Petry, who has also taught sculpture at Chester Springs Studio. Mr. Frudakis said in a 2015 interview with PAFA, “I love to teach, to see the young evolve, and then, suddenly, you see the miracle.”