William Ashby McCloy (1913-2000)
Core-ten steel 174 inches high
Commissioned with funds from The Connecticut Commission on the Arts
William Ashby McCloy was born in Baltimore and studied at Phillips Andover Academy, University of Iowa and Yale University. He taught at Drake University, University of Wisconsin, University of Manitoba, and finally, Connecticut College, where he remained for twenty-four years. Upon his death, he bequeathed literally thousands of his life's oeuvre to the Slater Memorial Museum. His long, collegial friendship with former Slater director Joseph Gualtieri led him to create aspirations in 1975-76 specifically for the Museum grounds.
About Aspirations, William McCloy wrote in 1976, "The figure is involved in three kinds of action .... Aspiration, Inspiration, and Adaptability: the first is indicated by the sense of reaching for control of the world, or for the moon, ... the second by holding out of the flowers, a response to beauty ... and the third by the spear-like form which can adjust to the force of the wind... The fact that the sculpture is on a pedestal is an acceptance of the continuing validity of traditional attitudes about man's potential, his ability to transcend the mundane and material."
William McCloy's work
reveals a fertile imagination, coupled with skillful draftsmanship. The many pieces he donated to the Slater Museum reflect constant change and investigation. He pushed the limits of aesthetic sensibility, enhancing his ability to teach and relate to emerging artists.