William Zorach was a Jewish painter/sculptor.
He was born in Eurburg (now Jurbarkas), Lithuania on February 28, 1887. His family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio, when he was four and changed the family name to Finkelstein. Zorach studied at the Cleveland School of Art and the National Academy of Design in New York. Following two years in France, Zorach returned to the United States and became a permanent resident of New York. In 1911, Zorach married Marguerite Thompson and the couple adopted Zorach’s original family name.
In 1922 he switched from painting to sculpting and evolved a personal and monumental style that placed him among the foremost sculptors of his day. Zorach carved mainly in stone and wood and is known for the simplicity and solidity of his sculptures. His works are displayed in many private and public collections, including the Whiney Museum, which own his Pegasus and Future Generation, and the Radio City Music Hall, which owns his Spirit of the Dance.
Zorach taught at the Art Students League and received his D.F.A. from Bates College in Maine.
He died in Bath, Maine on November 15, 1966.