1875 – 1953
Henri Schonhardt was born in 1875 in South Providence to German parents. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and attended the Academie Julian in 1898, the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs as well as the Ecole Beaux Arts. He returned to Rhode Island in 1903 to instruct modeling at RISD, where he continued for six years. His sculptural work was awarded an honorable mention at the Paris Salon of 1908. The following year he married Catherine Connor, one of his students, and settled in the Fruit Hill section of Providence at a time when it was merely farmlands. Over the course of his career he earned moderate success with commissioned sculptural work and a reputation as a reserved intellectual, strong-minded and purposeful.
He is best known for four life size bronze sculptures of important Rhode Islanders installed throughout the state—his monument of Col. Henry Tillinghast Sisson, located at the Commons in Little Compton, installed in 1917; General Nathaniel Greene, installed at the State House in 1931; the Scout, completed in 1911, at Burnside Park in front of City Hall; and the Soldiers and Sailor Monument at Bristol Town Hall, completed in 1914.