Sculptor Fred Martin Torrey (July 29, 1884-July 8, 1967) was born in Fairmont, West Virginia. Educated in the Fairmont schools, Torrey left West Virginia in 1909 to enroll at the Art Institute of Chicago. He studied there with the renowned sculptor Lorado Taft. Torrey met his wife, Mabel Landrum Torrey, also a sculptor, at the Institute.
Torrey’s 1933 statue, ‘‘Lincoln Walks at Midnight,’’ was displayed as a 29-inch bronze at the 1939 World’s Fair. In 1974 a nine-and-one-half foot bronze casting of the statue as executed by Charleston artist Bernard Wiepper was erected near the West Virginia state capitol. Torrey’s 42-inch plaster model of the sculpture is in the possession of the State Museum.
Torrey sculpted other historic figures as well, including Stephen Douglas, George Washington, and George Washington Carver. One of his last works was a 1965 bust of John F. Kennedy. Torrey died in Ames, Iowa.
Last Revised on November 05, 2010
Hamlin, Gladys E. The Sculpture of Fred and Mabel Torrey. Alhambra, CA: Borden Pub. Co., 1969.