Born in Buffalo, New York, Frances Laughlin Wadsworth began painting and sculpting at the age of seven. Her family tried to convince her to focus on painting alone, saying “sculpture was heavy and hard work for a woman.”
She didn’t listen, preferring to focus on sculpture and maintaining painting as a hobby. She studied art in Europe and also studied with the famous sculptors Gutson Borglum and Charles Eugene Tefft.
Wadsworth came to the Hartford area in 1928 when she married Robert H. Wadsworth, an executive at Travelers Insurance. They lived on a 68-acre farm in Granby.
Her first major work was the life-size sculpture of Thomas Hooker that stands outside the Old State House in Hartford. No pictures of Hooker exist, so to determine what he may have looked like, she studied his character and his descendants.
Other works by Wadsworth include the memorial to the founders of the American School for the Deaf that stands in Gallaudet Square and a sculpture titled “The Safe Arrival” which was commissioned by the Travelers Insurance Company and stands at Tower Square.
Institute of Living
When the Institute of Living established a Department of Educational Therapy, Wadsworth taught painting, drawing, and sculpture to patients there. She taught for over 25 years.
Section 5, Lot 30
Hartford Courant. “The Face 300 Years Had Veiled.” May 19, 1946
Hartford Courant. “Granby Sculptor’s Statue to be Unveiled Saturday.” April 12, 1953
Hartford Courant. “She Carves Out Her Career.” February 8, 1959
Hartford Courant. “Sculptor Describes Work on Travelers Monument.” January 31, 1964
Hartford Courant. “Frances Wadsworth Dies at 68; Sculptor.” April 18, 1978
Frances Laughlin Wadsworth, Public Domain