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Pierre Bourdelle (1901-1966)
African Animals panel.  Pierre incorporated phosphorescent
powders into the when he made it.  If you put a black-light on it the
animals and the fire-like area around the dancers glow; hence, the
unusual color for the elephant.  His technique of carving heated
battleship linoleum with wood-carving tools to create a low-relief
, and then painting on layers of lacquer was an adaptation of
the Chinese lacquer paintings on carved wood.  
25" H x 24" W
   Price:  $3,400.00
Detail of the African Animals panel
Panther panel.  Pierre liked to use various metal leafs (e.g.,
"gold" [brass] leaf and "silver" [aluminum] leaf).  These he would
often treat with sea sponges dipped in chemicals to create lush,
mottled colorations.  In the Panther Panel he painted the leaf
adhesive on in brush strokes to create a painterly effect for where
the silver and gold leaf attached.  Then he painted directly onto
the gold & silver leaf with the lacquers to create a cross-hatched
mosaic-like effect for the background and the eyes.

24" H x 24" W         Price:  $7,995.00
Metal Mosaic Mayan-Style Jaguar
(lots of views)
Pierre loved sitting at his large dining table after
dinner and working on projects there (often with
the TV going and his cat in his lap) that were
strictly for himself -- the non-commissioned
pieces.  This was one of those rare items.  All
his life he had a passionate connection with
cats -- large, small, wild, domestic, tattered,
pedigreed -- they all held him in their spell.  See
also his carved linoleum of a panther (right).  
Another of his cats can be seen {

This original sculpture is 50 years old,
measures 8" from ear-to-ear, 5" high, and
almost 4" front-to-back.  It weighs about a
pound, but the spirit of the man and energy of
this piece give it great power -- it seems much
larger than it actually is, and it changes so often
that it sometimes seems slightly alive.
.                 Price:  $1,520.00
Pierre created this on the band saw
using 1/4"-thick copper.  I have no idea
where he came across such thick
copper.  It is a strikingly simple piece
that always draws notice.

Price:  $1,250.00  
Eagle (Hammered & Riveted
Pierre created this on the band
saw using 1/8"-thick aluminum.  It
was a preliminary sketch for a
bank's commission.  They found it
too ferocious; esp. since it was
the height of anti-war sentiment
over Vietnam.  After many years
the bank closed, the final eagle
was taken down and is now on
Stevens Institute of Technology's
Library (Hoboken, NJ).

Price:  $9,620.00
                                  Pierre Bourdelle (1901-1966)

Pierre Emile Emmanuel van Parys Bourdelle was the only son of the world-renowned monumental sculptor,
Émile-Antoine Bourdelle.  Pierre grew up in Paris, with summers spent with his grandfather (Antoine Bordelles) in the
foothills of the Pyrenees around Montauban.  There he was surrounded by his relatives who were shepherds,
goatherds, woodcarvers and cabinet makers.   When he was 15 he lied about his age to be able to fight
in WWI (as a
bi-plane pilot), since he was too young to legally enlist.  When his bi-plane caught fire and plummeted to the ground
his ear drums were destroyed -- leaving him profoundly deaf for the rest of his life; a valuable artist's asset for when he
needed to focus on a project and tune out distractions.  He came to America to be an artist on his own merits and
separate from being in the shadow of his father.   

He was doing well when WWII propelled him to join the fray again -- this time he was told he was too
old.  He sold
whatever he could and became a volunteer ambulance driver for the American Field Service (AFS).  He recorded the
horrors of war on whatever he had at hand -- muslin for wounds, gauze, tape, and sometimes paper.  Being deaf, he
often could catch a good nap under the safety of his ambulance -- and not be awakened by an outbreak of renewed
bombing & fighting.  A few sets of his printed war drawings are still around, but most are locked away by their owners.  
War, as he tried to convey with his drawings, is not this surgically precise strategy that only knocks out the subjects
we target -- it rends body parts and emotional trauma into searingly unforgettable moments that don't fade away, and
cause the observer of these drawings to turn away -- not something to frame and hang on your wall.   In one of his
letters to/for the
AFS Letters (No. 40, Sept. 1945) he wrote about what war was for him.  You will find this below, along
with a link to his war drawings, and the cover of one of the AFS Letters that he did the drawing for.

When Pierre returned home he married and started a new life.   Many of his best pieces were done during this last 18
years of his life.  Below are some of these items that are for sale.  
From AFS Letters, No. 40, September 1945:


Looking back at the time spent in the American
Field Service one is undecided as to the value of
one's individual contribution.  Does a drop of
water make the ocean, just because without drops
of water there would be no ocean?

The fact that one man drove an ambulance
around a battlefield affects the total picture of war
very little.  Ambulances, however, carry many
patients.  Out of a thousand "cases", one human
life might not have been spared if an ambulance
had not happened to be around.  This single
opportunity justifies the attempt.

The bloody "casualty" on a stretcher is not anyone
we know, yet it is the most precious thing in the
world -- it is Humanity!

By virtue of forces beyond the control of the
individual, everyone is on one side or on the
other, whether one chooses to participate in war
or not.  The only choice left to a man is whether
he will be a burden to his nation, thereby giving
help to the enemy, or prove his own manhood to
himself.  Neutrality is not possible.  For the man
who is refused a weapon, ambulance work is a
stirring job.

Somewhere, deep in the human conscience, is
the knowledge that war is avoidable, precedents
to the contrary.  After all, man means intelligence.  
War is the failure of intelligence to solve a
problem of human relations.

Coming home, the first thing that strikes one is
that America is blessedly unaware of the horrors
of war.  It is not selfishness -- it is just human
nature.  One feels a prick more than a mutilation.  
Imagination alone cannot conceive the amplitude
of human suffering.  A lot of American boys died to
make sure that American homes should never

The second shock comes with the realization of
the affluence of the American nation.  The
terrifying want of the other side is not easily

The third realization is frightening: America does
not appear to have a concrete world policy.  A lot
of internal problems remain just as unsolved as
ever: prejudices, social reforms, isolationism, tariff
protection, monopolies.  The problem of
ethnic/religious prejudice, widely discussed in the
press, had nothing to do with the war.  It remains
a domestic problem that could be solved better in
the mind than by being dragged in the mud of
foreign battlefields.

Isolationism is threatening to become the major
issue.  It is a tradition in America, justified in the
past, hardly acceptable today, deadly tomorrow.  
America cannot avoid being mixed up in the
quarrels of other nations.  It is time for the public
to realize that a twig of tea growing on the banks
of the Yang Tze River can affect the fat on a Long
Island duckling’s breast.

As long as a New Guinea native gets a dollar a
year to extract gold from a mine, or a fellah 20
cents a day to tow a ship (with which generous
stipend these human beings are supposed to
raise a family and to sing the chorus of Progress),
we cannot call our social structure anything but a
fortress.  We are free, yes, only inside the

Freedom belongs to all men, in every country.  He
does not progress, really, who progresses alone.  
There is solidarity of the whole of humanity.
We have not defeated the [enemy] to destroy a
potential competitor.  If this was the reason for all
wars we would have fought our allies as well.  We
are not fighting the Japanese to eradicate a cut
rate dealer -- we fight imperialism.  We fight the
sword with a sword to break all the swords!

It is a common mistake to refer to America as a
"young country".  America is the oldest "free”
country in the world.  We have experience in
freedom and we have tested its mettle.  We can
show its magnificent benefits and we can show
how it should be used.

Others are looking upon us for help and we must
give this help without hope of return.  If we fail in
our mission as "the best people on earth", the
world will look down on us and feel that we only
wanted to be safe.

Humanity can be compared to a body.  On the
spine of China there is a burden.  Some
interesting thoughts are in the head of France.  
The grasp of England holds a delicate
mechanism.  Russia's legs tramp stolidly on.  For
some reason, America seems to be the world's

Surplus food, clothing, machinery, capital are only
temporary relief and there never is enough to go
around.  I remember the discomfiture of a native to
whom I once gave a precious can of food; he
would still be starving if I had not brought a can

The can
The can opener is education.  So far, education is not all it should be.  In the civilized countries education is more or less a compound of
yesterday's knowledge applied toward filling tomorrow's jobs.  Culture, the appreciation of beauty and the wisdom in life, should be more
important.  Many know the historical exploits of Tamerland, Napoleon, and Hitler, while only a few people can identity Erathostenes, Lister and Sir
Alexander Fleming with their far more worthwhile achievements.  The saga of brutality is respectfully taught in preference to the majesty of
intelligence.  It is about time that Alexander's shadow got out of the sun's way.

Fortunately, we have something better to offer than the text books and propaganda.  We have the American man -- his example.  I don't know how
much the evangelist or the politician achieved "in parbibus infidelium”, but I know what an enterprising American does: he organizes without paying
attention to customs.  He gets results without ramming them down the onlooker's throat.  He gets labor without oppressing.  He likes people and
they like his sunny disposition, his drive, his fearlessness.  Other people call him “crazy", with wistfulness.  Soon they ape him.  The miracle of
America is not the achievement of machines or gadgets, it is the sheer quality of being human, friendly, unprejudiced, of making himself loved.  It is
an attribute of character.

Can we rid the world of hate?  Can we give it that love of which we have so much?  To achieve ultimate peace is not beyond the scope of
imagination.  International competition must be curbed.  There never will be any hope of stability as long as nations are allowed to become, or
remain, entirely self sufficient.  Natural deficiencies should be supplemented from outside.

Nations are respectable as sentimental, as competitive bodies.  They make war inevitable.  If war essentials were divided among all nations, each
nation to one essential only, war would become a problem of getting together instead of splitting away.  No world alliance will ever last outside of
this simple expedient.

It is a common belief, and a nefarious one, that war makes Progress.  The only Progress achieved through war is to ignore our self made
restrictions -- monopolies and patents for the common good.  Outside of that the advances in bombers do not benefit peacetime aviation beyond
what seven years of normal endeavor will have achieved.

Progress is only as good as the human beings that use it.  The measure of Progress is in the heart.  The spirit of Progress has its own beauty, but
this beauty is that of man's soul.  Progress is not the privilege of one single nation -- it is the rightful inheritance of humanity as a whole.
We Americans shall sing the proud song of the broad axe to others, but we shall accept that they might prefer contemplation to enterprise,
meditation to the restlessness of science.  Their truth is as much a part of the whole truth as our part is.

Let's offer what we have; let's not tolerate any barrier against our influence.  Let's not erect any fence around any other influence.  We know what
we have to offer.  We don't know what others have to give us.  Some of it is certain to be good.  Let's trade thoughts, methods, and people.
The challenge is worthy of American energy.  We might even succeed a little sooner, a little better, than we should expect.  We might suffer set
backs, but we should never give up trying.  Thus, and thus only, we shall win the last war, on the last battle ground, for the Brotherhood of Man.