Thomas Crawford, an American sculptor, born in New York, March 22, 1814, died in London, Oct. 10, 1857. In early childhood he manifested an extraordinary fondness for art. He worked first at wood carving, and at the age of 19 entered the studio of Frazee and Launitz, monumental sculptors in New York. After two years, during which he executed several monumental designs, and worked upon portrait busts of Chief Justice Marshall and others, he set out for Italy, furnished with a letter of introduction to Thorwaldsen, who invited him to work in his studio. For several years he wrought earnestly, and soon began to be intrusted with commissions for portrait busts and copies in marble. The sums received for these barely sufficed for his support and the purchase of the necessary materials; but he was glad to work for any remuneration, feeling that excellence could only be attained by incessant labor. During 10 weeks in 1837 he modelled 17 busts to be put in marble, and copied in marble the figure of Demosthenes in the Vatican. In 1839, having previously executed a few original pieces, he designed his "Orpheus," the work which first brought him into notice in America, and which elicited the warm commendation of Gibson and Thorwaldsen. Charles Sumner, who saw it in Rome, was so struck with its merits that on his return to Boston he procured by subscription the means of sending Crawford an order for a copy in marble.

Its reception in America, where it was exhibited with others of Crawford's works, formed an epoch in the life of the artist. The statue is in the possession of the Boston Athenaeum. Crawford was now enabled to give more attention to ideal composition. To this period may be referred his more purely classic subjects and his Scriptural bass-reliefs, remarkable for the spirit and propriety of their treatment. His industry seemed to increase with the favorable turn in his fortunes. He fitted up large studios, which soon became a favorite resort of strangers from the number of striking original works always to be seen there. In 1844 he visited America, where he married. During the next summer he modelled a remarkable bust of Josiah Quincy, sr., for the library of Harvard university, and returned to Europe with numerous commissions for new works. In 1849 he made a second visit to the United States, and reading in a newspaper the proposals for the monument to be erected to Washington by the state of Virginia, he prepared his model, which was unanimously adopted as the best offered.

From the period of his return to Rome in 1850 until he was incapacitated for work, he was chiefly engaged on that series of grand historical and allegorical pieces which attested the finest development of his artistic powers. One of the most remarkable of these was the bronze statue of Beethoven, for the Boston music hall. The colossal equestrian statue of Washington, 25 feet in height, was subsequently cast in Munich under the artist's personal superintendence, and arrived at Richmond in the beginning of 1858. Crawford had meanwhile received a commission from congress to furnish marble and bronze statuary for the new capitol at Washington. Among the most remarkable of his designs were those for the pediment and the bronze doors; and his grandest work is the colossal statue of "Armed Liberty" for the dome of the capitol. While engaged on these works he executed the " Babes in the Wood," the " Hebe and Ganymede," and several portrait busts. In 1856 he visited America, and leaving his family there returned alone to Rome. A cancerous tumor on the brain soon after manifested itself, and he was obliged to renounce the practice of his art. He was successively removed to Paris and London for the benefit of medical treatment, and died after a painful illness.

Crawford finished upward of 60 works, many of them colossal, and left about 50 sketch-es in plaster and designs of various kinds. His chief mvthological subjects are the "Genius of Mirth," the "Muse," "Autumn," "Orpheus," "Cupid," "Flora," "Io," the "Peri," "Apollo," "Homer," "Diana," "Vesta," "Sappho," the "Archer," "Paris presenting the Apple to Venus," "Mercury and Psyche," "Jupiter and Psyche," "Psyche Found," "Nymph and Satyr, "and "Boy and Goat." His Scriptural compositions include "Adam and Eve," "David and Goliath," "David before Saul," "The Shepherds and Wise Men before Christ," a group of 24 figures; "Christ disputing with the Doctors," 12 figures; "Christ ascending from the Tomb," "Christ raising Jairus's Daughter," the "Daughter of Hero-dias," "Repose in Egypt," "Eve Tempted," "Eve with Cain and Abel," "Lead us into Life Everlasting," " Christ blessing little Children," and "Christ at the Well of Samaria." Among his other works are "The Dancers," two life-size-figures of children; statues of Chan-ning, Washington Alston, and Henry Clay; and many busts, including a beautiful one of his wife. Besides his strictly national works, there are several open to the public.

The "Beethoven " is in the music hall at Boston; "James Otis," in the chapel at Mount Auburn; "Adam and Eve," "Orpheus," the "Shepherdess," and "Josiah Quincy," in the Boston Athenaeum; the "Indian," in the library of the New York historical society; and "Flora" and 87 casts from his works in the New York Central park.