Born November 14, 1904, York, Pennsylvania
Died April 24, 1986, Doylestown, Pennsylvania
To some extent, Rudy's highly-prized sculpture is a reflection of his love of-if not Ottsville then-southeastern Pennsylvania. For Rudy's sculpture is clean, simple, strong; it has its basis in southeastern Pennsylvania's virtues. And it runs to such themes as Young Bull and Pennsylvania Farm Wife. - Bern Ikeler, Bucks County Traveler, 1952
Charles Rudy achieved national status as a sculptor for his work on public buildings across the country, as well as for his prize-winning sculptures. His most famous commissions included Noah on the Bronx post office in New York, the Sun Seaman's Memorial in Delaware, the Confederate War Memorial on Stone Mountain in Georgia (now very controversial), and the World War II Memorial at Virginia Polytechnical Institute, 1954.
Some local commissions are the frieze on the Lehigh County court house, two bas-relief profiles of Benjamin Franklin on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, and the flagpole base outside the University of Pennsylvania. His work has been exhibited at such prestigious institutions as the Corcoran Gallery, the Carnegie Institute, and the National Sculpture Society, as well as at local Bucks County galleries. One of his most popular sculptures, The Letter, won a gold medal award from the National Sculpture Society. Rudy's artistic development started in the stained glass studio of his father, artist Horace Rudy, and continued during his education at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. A 1942 Guggenheim fellow, Rudy taught as the head of Cooper Union's sculpture department for ten years. He also held teaching positions at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, Michigan State College, and Philadelphia Museum School of Art.
Charles Rudy was part of the exhibition The Rodin Legacy in conjunction with Rodin: The Human Experience Selections from the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Collections exhibit at the Michener Art Museum in 2015. The Legacy exhibit explored the influence of Rodin on 20th century and contemporary American sculptors, some of whom continue to embrace Rodin's legacy with their interest in naturalism and the partial figure, direct carving, and a desire to express inner psychological states through the physical form.
Virtually Rudy: New Dimensions in Sculpture will be on view at the Michener Art Museum in the winter of 2018. Nine sculptures by Charles Rudy from the Michener Art Museum permanent collection will be on display alongside three-dimensional representations made possible through a partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.
View Charles Rudy's sculptures in 3D on Sketchfab.
Charles Rudy, photo courtesy of the New Hope Gazette, New Hope, PA