Isidore Konti, One of the Early Founders
In the late nineteenth century, sculptor Isidore Konti (1862–1938) immigrated to the United States from Austria. Born in Vienna of Hungarian parents, he stayed in Austria and became a skilled practitioner of the style popular at the time. Idealized, allegorical figures were his favorite subjects. Some of his earliest works in the United States were temporary, monumental sculptures for the 1901 World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York.
From 1906 until his death in 1938, Konti lived in Yonkers, where he became a key member of the cultural scene. He co-founded the Yonkers Art Association, served as an early commissioner of the Yonkers Museum of Science and Arts (now the Hudson River Museum), and created four public statues, including the World War I Memorial in front of City Hall and the Hudson-Fulton Monument at the foot of Odell Avenue. Both sculptures remain there today.
During Konti’s thirteen years as commissioner, the Museum sponsored numerous exhibitions organized by the Yonkers Art Association and by groups such as the Yonkers Camera Club, local schools, garden clubs, and the Museum’s auxiliary of volunteers.Today, Konti’s graceful sculptures—The Brook, 1901, Consolation, 1914–18 (currently on view in Art and Identity), and Genius of Immortality, 1911 (pictured above)—are highlights of the Museum’s collection. During his lifetime, Genius of Immortality, with its sensuous and sinuous lines, was one of Konti’s most admired sculptures and helped to bolster his international reputation. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired a copy in 1916, and the Italian government also owned a copy. The Hudson River Museum has three versions of this work, including two plaster models used in the production process, as well as this bronze.