Art: Out of the Ashes

As a portrait sculptor, Jo Davidson had no peer in the U.S., and his bounce was as remarkable as his skill. He set himself no less a task than to sculpt "a plastic history of my time," and the hundreds of notables who sat for him ranged from Joseph Conrad to Frank Sinatra, from Gandhi to Mussolini. A little more than a year ago, at 68, bush-bearded Jo Davidson journeyed to Israel and found inspiration for some of his best busts. The new nation, he said, "confirmed my belief that life is eternal. It was like a phoenix rising out of...

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