1911, Bronze

A prime exam­ple of Polasek’s mas­tery of the human form, the dra­mat­i­cally mod­eled fig­ure of the Sower has a clas­si­cally inspired face and a strong, mus­cu­lar body. Using as his inspi­ra­tion the para­ble of Jesus about the sower – “a sower went forth to sow” – Polasek’s inter­pre­ta­tion shows a man scat­ter­ing the seed of good through­out the world. Sower won an Hon­or­able Men­tion in the spring 1913 Paris Salon. 

Man Carv­ing His Own Destiny

1908, Archival Photo

“…all at once the idea took con­crete form before his mind’s eye: Man, blindly hew­ing his way out of dark­ness, carv­ing his own des­tiny! (Polasek) could hardly wait to get home to start his com­po­si­tion. Man, chis­el­ing him­self, strug­gling to hack out his own char­ac­ter, carv­ing his future by the effort of his will – it was part of his life, just what he him­self had done, and into this com­po­si­tion he threw his whole soul, express­ing him­self more fully than he had ever done before.” Sher­wood, Ruth. Carv­ing His Own Des­tiny. Chicago: Ralph Fletcher Sey­mour, 1954, p. 178.


1924, Bronze

Cre­ated as the female com­pan­ion to Man Carv­ing His Own Des­tiny, Polasek saw woman, at last break­ing through the clouds of igno­rance and super­sti­tion into the full light of free­dom. Art critic Dorothy Grafly (daugh­ter of Polasek’s men­tor, Charles Grafly) wrote the fol­low­ing obser­va­tion in the win­ter of 1925 after Unfet­tered was awarded a top prize at the Philadel­phia Annual Exhi­bi­tion: “In mak­ing the award, the jury of the Fair­mount Park Art Asso­ci­a­tion is to be con­grat­u­lated, for not only has it set a high stan­dard, but it has redeemed in some mea­sure the pres­tige of the old Academy.”