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Teaching Through Touch: Works by Chaim Gross

The Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation

Opening Reception November 7, 2018, 6-8 pm

October 13, 2018 - March 30, 2020

Two identical busts of a woman on a white mount. In the background hung on the wall is a drawing in black ink of of the faces of four men with two other drawings in charcoal, one in the far left corner and the other directly to the right of it.
Photo of a gallery with two white walls intersecting at the left and medium brown, wood flooring. There are sculptures from left to right of: a tall, thin, black composition of bulbous forms, a large rectangular woman, a thin, medium brown bird like shape, and an off white, short sculpture. On the walls there are framed artworks depicting sketches of the sculptures.
Partial view of a gallery room and a hallway with white walls and medium brown flooring. There are many large sculpture on white rectangular mounts in organic shapes, in brown, white, and black. On the walls there are scatterings of framed sketches of the sculptures.
White gallery wall with medium brown wood flooring beneath it. In front of us, there are sculptures from left to right of: a white, short bulbous shape, two female heads, a thin, tall parent bird feeding its children, a tall, large woman carrying her child above her head, and a thin, tree-like, triangular shape. On the wall there are various framed sketches of the sculptures.

Press Release

The 70-year career of American sculptor Chaim Gross (1904-91) is partially defined by his role as a sculpture teacher. One of his main tenets was the importance of utilizing touch in understanding the three-dimensional nature of sculpture. Although a common thread among sculptors themselves, this very rarely makes it to the viewer, who is often distanced from the work. Gross was a great proponent of the use of natural materials, especially as his initial fame was a result of his direct carvings in wood. These sculptures retain not only the rich textures of the wood, but also contain chisel marks and other evidence of the sculptor’s hand, left to convey varied surfaces and materials. This exhibition allows visitors to have a hands-on experience with the work of one of the most significant twentieth-century American sculptors, but also delves into his various methods, materials, and his educational mission that is continued through the Renee & Chaim Gross Foundation.


The exhibition includes sixteen drawings and twelve sculptures in wood, bronze, and stone. The exhibition follows the Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design.


Curated by Sasha Davis, Executive Director, and Brittany Cassandra, Collections and Programs Manager

We would like to thank JBI International (established as The Jewish Braille Institute) for generously supplying our Braille and large print guides for the exhibition. JBI International is a non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the cultural needs of the visually impaired, blind, physically handicapped, and reading disabled of all ages and backgrounds.