Lang, Karl

Lang, Karl (1897-1952)

Karl Lang was born in Biberach, Germany on September 9, 1897, the only child of a wealthy family. At the Upper Real School at Stuttgart, he learned English and drawing. His father urged him to go into Colonial service, but Karl preferred drawing. His instructor, Herr Gansmueller, encouraged him to pursue art. When he was 16 or 17, Lang came to America. In 1922, while living in Stamford, he married Alma Arsenault. For five years Lang served as a studio assistant to Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor famous for his gigantic outdoor sculptures at Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota and Stone Mountain, Georgia. Lang may have accompanied Borglum to these sites. By 1926 he had opened his own studio in New Haven, Connecticut. Prior to the WPA Federal Arts Project, he worked for the Public Works of Art Project. He began working for the WPA in 1936. Project officials described his work as “filled with feeling and action.” Between 1936 and 1941 Lang completed 18 statues and plaques, three easel works, and one mural. Among his most famous works is the statue of World War I veteran Timothy Francis Ahern in New Haven. Lang died in September of 1952.


Sources: WPA Artist’s Work Card; WPA Biography; Connecticut Historical Society, Civil War Monuments of Connecticut “Karl Lang”-online resource; Social Security Death Index; “Statue of New Haven War Hero Takes Shape,” Hartford Courant, September 14, 1936; “Will Unveil Statue of Columbus Oct. 12,” Hartford Courant, August 14, 1941, “Artists Take Part in New City Show,” New York Times, July 1, 1936.

Works of Art Listed in CT Archives’ database from Karl Lang:

Timothy Ahearn: bronze
Labor (bas relief): plaster
The Artist (statue): plaster
The Dancer (statue): plaster
Ducks (statue): plaster
Columbus (statue nude): plaster
Columbus (statue draped): plaster
Nathan Hale (statue): plaster
Football Players (plaque): plaster
Horse: plaster
Bears: plaster
Penguins: plaster
Wrestlers: clay
Head of a Young Musician: clay
Two Horses: clay
Two Statues of Eve: plaster
Petunias: pastel
Rain on the Shore: pastel
Chicken Farm: watercolor
4 Sketches for Columbus Monument for New Britain, Conn.: clay
Explorers: oil
Horse: plaster
Timothy Ahearn:  
Colonel Parker: aluminum
Lang, Karl