Wisdom’s Triumph

 

Wisdom's Triumph - Photographed by: Jonathan Cohen

Photographed by: Jonathan Cohen

 

Nathaniel Kaz, (American NYC, 1917-2010)
Wisdom’s Triumph, 1960
Bronze, stainless steel rods
Binghamton University’s Fine Arts Building
State University of New York at Binghamton

Nathaniel Kaz was born in NYC; however, his family moved to Detroit when he was still an infant. It was in Detroit that he began practicing art and quickly became a recognized child prodigy at the age of 9.   With his self-portrait, he took first prize at the Annual Michigan Art Show, defeating professional adults. At the age of 13, Kaz moved out on his own and studied art at Cooper Union under the direction of William Zorach and Aaron Ben-Schmuel. At 14, he worked in NYC reconstructing statues as a part of WPIA creative arts projects. By the age of 29, he had been an art instructor for 14 years. His work is permanently on display in the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum. He also won first prize in the United Nations contest to create a 60 foot sculpture to be erected in front of the U.N General Assembly building in 1955.

Photo courtesy of Binghamton University

Wisdom’s Triumph installation in 1960.
Photo courtesy of Binghamton University

In 1959, Nathaniel Kaz was commissioned to create a dignified symbol for the Binghamton University Campus. The Pegasus was his first work commissioned by a college.  During its creation the piece was titled “Wisdom’s Triumph”.  The winged horse is a symbol of enlightenment and overcoming the powers of ignorance. The Pegasus was depicted in a state of agitation to also symbolize the inner struggle to ascend with the muse.

The artwork was dedicated on June 10th, 1960 and attached to the western façade of the Fine Arts Building.

Researched by: Emily Lacey & Sara Lacey

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