Art Is a Powerful Language: Willard Hirsch—The Man, the Artist


Compiled by Jane Elizabeth Hirsch

ISBN: 978-0-9845580-4-9
10×10, 78 pages, paper

This book is a collection of essays about sculptor Willard Hirsch, whose artwork can be found throughout South Carolina and beyond. It is the only volume available that is dedicated solely to the artwork of William Hirsch. It accompanied a well-reviewed retrospective exhibition of Hirsch’s work at the Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleston) and Brookgreen Gardens (Pawley’s Island).

Willard Hirsch (1905-1982) was Charleston’s premier sculptor of the twentieth century. He was remarkably versatile, working on a wide range of subjects, from Biblical themes to whimsy, and in such varied media as wood, terra-cotta, bronze, fiberglass, and steel. Today, his sculptures can be found throughout the country, but especially in his native South Carolina.

This volume, compiled by his daughter Jane Hirsch, presents an inside view of the man and his art. Essays by noted art historian Martha R. Severens, family members, friends, and students show Willard Hirsch’s humor, his firm standards, and his enormous creativity. His artwork is widely known. Now the man, too, can take his place among South Carolina’s most admired artists.


“This is a must-have book for every Lowcountry library!”

~ Charleston Mercury Newspaper


“Art Is a Powerful Language is a much-overdue account of Willard Hirsch. His sculptures have long been part of the artistic landscape of this region, but until now little has been written about his training, career, and influence. Along with William Halsey and Corrie McCallum, Hirsch dominated artistic production in Charleston after World War II. He became part of a long tradition of area art instruction that has led to what many refer to today as a second Charleston renaissance.” 

~ Angela D. Mack, Executive Director, Gibbes Museum of Art