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An accomplished American sculptor of the early twentieth century, who specialized in animal subjects, Anna Hyatt was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and took early training from Boston sculptor, Henry Hudson Kitson. In 1902, she moved to New York and studied with Hermon MacNeil at the Art Students League. From 1907-10, she traveled abroad, spending time in Paris and Auvers-sur-Oise, France, and Italy. During this time, she created an equestrian sculpture of Joan of Arc that was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1910, and earned her a commission for the same subject on Riverside Drive in New York City, dedicated in 1915.
In 1923 Hyatt married New York philanthropist Archer M. Huntington. Together they became major patrons of traditional sculpture through their involvement in and support of the National Sculpture Society and the National Academy of Design. She continued her career actively through the 1930s, producing numerous sculptures for the buildings and courtyard around the Hispanic Society in New York, which housed other institutions of Archer Huntington¹s interest.
In 1927, the couple began to travel south during the winters for rest and a moderate climate, and in 1930, purchased a site of four historic plantations near Murrells Inlet on the South Carolina coast. There they built Brookgreen Gardens, with a winter residence called "Atalaya," a garden and nature preserve. Anna designed a butterfly shaped garden with pools and fountains around the site of the old plantation house. In addition to placing bronze statues of her own Diana of the Chase, Joan of Arc, and El Cid, the artist produced versions of many animals for the garden, similar to the examples shown here. The Huntingtons also acquired other figurative and traditional sculptures, founding Brookgreen Gardens in 1931. The property opened the following year as the first public sculpture garden in the United States.
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