Launt Thompson: Forgotten Irish Master

Michael Burke will tell us how one of the most important post-Civil War sculptors died in obscurity and is buried in an unmarked grave. Lancelot (Launt) Thompson was born in Abbeyleix, in 1833, and emigrated to Albany with his widowed mother in the height of the famine, in 1847. Hired as a studio boy by Erastus Dow Palmer, he spent the next nine years apprenticing with Palmer and developing his own unique style in sculpture. He toured Europe and achieved great fame, but in 1890, he was transferred to the State Homeopathic Asylum for the Insane in Middletown, New York.