Rhind, J. Massey

profile_massey rhind resized
Sex: Male
Birth Date/Place: 9 July 1860, Edinburgh, Scotland
Death Date/Place: 1936, New York, NY
  • Sculpture

Biographical Links:

"We Will Remember: War Monuments in Canada."  https://www.cdli.ca/monuments/ns/chester.htm

Quarter Deck.  www.historic places.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=7020

'Facing the Sunset." chesterns.ca/2008_07_01_blogarchive.html



J. Massey Rhind hailed from a family of noted sculptors.  In Edinburgh he began his studies under the tutelage of his father, John Rhind.  He attended the prestigious Royal Scottish Academy as a 15-year old prodigy and continued his studies with Jules Dalou in Lambeth, England.  He then moved to Paris to continue his studies for two more years.  He moved to New York in 1889 at the age of 29.  When John Jacob Astor died in 1890 a competition was held to create three sets of bronze doors dedicated to him for Trinity Church, Lower Manhattan. Rhind won the commission for the North Astor door and this work launched him on a career spanning more than fifty years.

During his studies in Paris Rhind had been exposed to multiple Renaissance mannerisms, including the philosophy of the Ecole des Beaux Arts.  Rhind understood and adopted the Ecole's edict that building and embellishment are one element and that true works of art and sculpture must be conservatively classical, grand in their presentation and both realistic and allegorical.  He was perhaps the first sculptor to carry the Ecole's influence to America.

Rhind gained interantional fame in 1897 for his sweeping sculpture program at the President Ulysses S. Grant tomb, Morningside Heights, Manhattan.  His commissions included works in both granite and bronze. Among his works are portrait scultures at the Gettysburg Battlefield.  

After the First World War, Rhind leased a home in Chester, NS known as the Quarter Deck.  While staying here he developed a love for the area and decided to design and donate the War Memorial Monument that stands on the Parade Grounds today.  Known as 'The Highlander,' the bronze figure was valued at $6500 when it was dedicated  on August 4,1922.  Russell Zinck was chosen to model for the Highlander as he was perceived to have a fae=ce representative of the people of the area.  The base and steps of the memorial were donated by the village and cut from a single piece of granite by Wakefield Zinck.  The morning edition of the Chronicle Herald of  August 22, 1922 described 'The Highlander' as:  'stern, watchful, full of reserved energy, ready, if need be, to offer himself as a sacrifice in defense of all he holds dear." The article went on to say, 'He has a rugged and peculiarly Nova Scotia personality whos character partakes the quality of the granite rocks.'

Rhind had three other significant commissions in Nova Scotia including 'Britannia'  in Grand Parade, Halifax (1929); the  'Highland Piper", New Glasgow (1929),  and Edward Cornwallis, Halifax (1931).


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