Abastenia St. Leger Eberle1878 - 1942
Born: April 16, 1878, Webster City, Iowa
Died: February 1942, New York City, New York
Abastenia St. Leger Eberle was born in Iowa but raised in Canton, Ohio. She received her first artistic training from a local sculptor who was one of her doctor-father's patients. In 1899, she moved to New York City to attend the Art Students League, studying with C.Y. Harvey, George Grey Barnard, and Kenyon Cox. Her first piece to win public attention was a large sculpture, Men and Bull, made in collaboration with Anna Vaughan Hyatt. After the work was highly praised in a Society of American Artists exhibition, it was awarded a bronze medal at the St. Louis Exposition.
In 1907, Eberle traveled to Naples, Italy, in order to cast some of her works in bronze more cheaply than she could in the United States. After returning New York City, she opened a studio on the Lower East Side in order to be close to the subjects she rendered. Eberle was interested in urban life and often sculpted the tenement children of immigrants in the poor area of the city. She worked in a realistic style and explored social themes in works such as White Slavery (1913), You Dare Touch My Child (c. 1915), and Woman Picking up Coal (1907).
Eberle regularly exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery, the National Academy of Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and she participated in international exhibitions in Venice (1909), Rome (1911), and Paris (1913). In 1920, a heart condition began to affect her ability to create sculpture, and her productivity declined over the next twenty years although she continued to win prizes for her work until her death in 1942.