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|A transcript of the New York Times item from May 9, 1975 follows.|
Louis Slobodkin, Sculptor, Is Dead at 72
Louis Slobodkin, sculptor, illustrator, author of children’s books and winner of the 1943 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations of James Thurber’s Many Moons, died of a heart attack yesterday at his home in Bay Harbor Islands, Miami Beach. He was 72 years old.
Mr. Slobodkin’s sculptural works are represented in museums, private collections and in public and government buildings. Among these are his heroic bronze of the young Abraham Lincoln in the court of the Interior Department building in Washington, and the aluminum statue, “Tropical Postman,” in the Postmaster General’s office.
He was also the author of the textbook Sculpture: Principles and Practice, published by the World Publishing Company in 1949.
Mr. Slobodkin was the center of a cause célèbre that stirred art circles in 1939 when his statue of Abraham Lincoln, which had won second prize in a sculpture competition for the Federal Building at the New World’s Fair, was removed before the opening day.
Later that year, it was reported that the statue had been ordered destroyed by Edward J. Flynn, the United States Commissioner at the fair, because “a lady had told him it wasn’t in good taste.”
In October, 1939, a new cast of the statue, which portrays Lincoln as a youthful rail splitter, holding two crossed rails, went on exhibition in Washington before it was assigned to a permanent place at the Interior Department.
Mr. Slobodkin was born in Albany on Feb. 19, 1903, and began to model in clay when he was 10. At the age of 15, his parents enrolled him here at the Beaux Arts Institute of Design, where he earned his way running elevators at night. Between 1918 and 1923 he won 22 medals and a Louis Tiffany Foundation Fellowship that enabled him to study in Paris.
In the early nineteen-forties he headed the sculpture division of the New York City Art Project.
Mr. Slobodkin later turned to illustrating children’s books, many of which he wrote himself for such publishers as Vanguard and Macmillan. Some of the most popular among his 50 books were The Late Cuckoo, Excuse Me! Certainly! Thank You—You’re Welcome, One Is Good but Two Are Better, Millions and Millions and The Friendly Animals.
Surviving are his widow, the former Florence Gershkowitz; two sons, Lawrence and Michael; a sister, Rhoda Zuckerman; and three grandchildren.
Burial is to take place today at the Lakeside Memorial Cemetery in Miami.
—New York Times, May 9, 1975