Jay Hall Carpenter

Jay's life-sized bronze sculptures reveal his vast experience as an artist with their fine detail and appreciation of the human form. Reminiscent of the beaux-arts style of the late 19th century, but clearly imbued with a 20th century aesthetic, Jay’s figures radiate a very human sensitivity. 


He began his career as a professional sculptor in 1976 when, at the age of 17, his clay model for a gargoyle was selected to adorn Washington's National Cathedral. His work soon caught the eye of America's premier figurative sculptor, Frederick Hart, who was then at work on the major sculptures for The National Cathedral's west facade. Over a five-year period, Carpenter assisted Hart on numerous life-size and heroic scale sculptures, and sculpted the weaponry for Washington's Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. In the mid-1980's Carpenter was commissioned to create models for the more than 400 sculptures, which would complete the National Cathedrals west towers. The Cathedral's crowning touch, the sculptures were dedicated at the building's Consecration in 1990.

His solo exhibition at The Arts Club of Washington drew widespread critical acclaim and record attendance. A feature article in "The Washington Post" hailed his "singular vision" as an artist. His work has been honored by The National Sculpture Society with three major awards: the Lantz Prize in 1987 for the life-size bronze ASCENT INTO HEAVEN; the President's Award in 1989 for the life-size limestone SAINT PAUL IN DAMASCUS and the 1992 Dreyfoos Prize. The latter is the Society's top award for figurative work outside the classical tradition. In November of 1992, he was appointed to the newly created position of Sculptor-in-Residence at Washington National Cathedral. His work continues to be as diverse as his clientele: processional crosses for the Archbishop of Canterbury's installation, an Angel and Child for Washington's famed Church of The Presidents, a caricature of Balzac commissioned by author Tom Wolfe and, a life-size bust of legendary actress Helen Hayes who, at the age of 91, sat for him in her New York home. Ongoing Exhibiting artist and lecturer he is a Member of the National Sculpture Society, and Sculpture Chair for the Arts Club of Washington.

Carpenter attended St. Alban's School in Washington, D.C. and Pratt Institute in New York. From 1987 to 1989 he served as Artist-in-Residence at Wesley Theological Seminary, and is presently Instructor of Sculpture at the Art League School.