“Usually he was at his Swann Street studio, where he spent long days hammering and molding the lead sculptures... John never stopped growing or experimenting. ...Impressionistic or realistic, he could be both fluid and precise, and still run the full range of human emotion. He won many awards but, most importantly, he won the respect of everyone who knew him.”
HON. WALTER E. FAUNTROY
United States - CONGRESSIONAL RECORD
The John Cavanaugh Foundation is located in the building John Cavanaugh and Philip Froeder named Swann’s Way Gallery, in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington DC. John maintained his studio, and public reception space at Swann’s Way. The building also acted as a setting for 7 of Cavanaugh’s lead, bas-relief, sculptures on the theme of Marcel Proust’s, Remembrance of Things Past (see reference below). Feel free to contact us.
THE JOHN CAVANAUGH FOUNDATION
Gordon Alt, Executive Director
Rita Bartolo, Curator
Gwen Samelson, Former Deputy Director
General e-mail address is info at cavanaughfoundation dot org.
A drawing of Swann’s Way as it looked in 1977
“The greatest attention was given to the “absolutely fascinating” project on Swann Street, which drew ‘rubberneckers’.... From all over the city,” according to the In Towner newspaper. As [John and Phil] set about renovating [a] group of townhouses into apartments and a new studio, [a] friend pointed out the association with Charles Swann, a major figure in Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. Cavanaugh created seven bas-reliefs sculptures on Proustian themes for the building’s hundred foot long Swann St. frontage, one for each book of the novel, and the connection was further emphasized with touches including a Proust-inspired mural and French house numbers, brought to the artist by [another friend]. The completion of the project, Cavanaugh’s “piece-de-resistance," according to the Washington Star, was celebrated with a gala Unveiling Party.
Originally Cavanaugh called his studio and gallery space “The Sculptors Gallery.” Inspired by the Proust reference and works he created for the building Cavanaugh subsequently renamed his studio and gallery, Swann’s Way Gallery.
Excerpted from IN SEARCH OF MOTION
John Cavanaugh’s Biography/Catalogue Raisonné
Available for purchase from the John Cavanaugh
Foundation - $26.00 includes shipping and handling.
United States of America
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD Extensions of Remarks - pg. E 604 - February 25, 1985
WASHINGTON LOSES RESPECTED ARTIST
HON. WALTER E. FAUNTROY
OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Mr. Fauntroy. Mr Speaker, I would like to pay may respects to Mr. John Cavanaugh who was taken from us in the prime of life.
Mr. Cavanaugh was a towering figure among Washington’s artists. Usually he was at his Swann Street studio, where he spent long days hammering and molding the lead sculptures which are so prominent throughout the DuPont Circle area. His works adorned buildings all over the District, many of which were renovated with his close friend and partner, Phil. Residents of Washington came to cherish his art.
John never stopped growing or experimenting. His work could range from a playful group of delicate figures to an enormous, brooding face set in brick. Impressionistic or realistic, he could be both fluid and precise, and still run the full range of human emotion. He won many awards but, most importantly, he won the respect of everyone who knew him.
Mr. Speaker, John Cavanaugh enriched our lives, and he made the world a far better place. He was a beloved and gentle man, and his presence will be sorely missed. To his family I want to extend my deepest sympathy.