Forest Idyl by Albin Polasek


Dublin Core


Forest Idyl by Albin Polasek

Alternative Title

Forest Idyl by Albin Polasek


Polasek, Albin, 1879-1965
Art--Southern States
Sculptors--United States
Sculpture--United States


Forest Idyl, a sculpture recreated by Albin Polasek (1879-1965) in 1964. The original sculpture was created with bronze in 1924. Polasek was inspired by Henry Wadsforth Longellow's epic poem "The Song of Hiawartha." Another casting of Forest Idyl was contributed to an art gallery in New York, where the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial, Daniel Chester French, won the sculpture in a draawing of the gallery's supporting members. While at the American Academy in Rome, Italy, as an honorary professor in 1931, Polasek created a life-size version of Forest Idyl for sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntongton for Brookgreen Gardens, which was her estate in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. A copy of the 1931 sculpture was also contributed to Ball State University's library in Muncie, Indiana, where she is called "The Naked Lady."

For his 1964 version photographed here, Polasek used the same conceptual design that he used in 1924, but instead used the face and hairstyle of his wife, Emily Muska Kubat Polasek, as a model. This casting resides on the front lawn of the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park, and another casting of the 1964 version is located at the Winter Park City Hall. The sculpture's plaque reads: "This statue was donated to the City of Winter Park by the world renowned sculptor Albin Polasek. Mr. Polasek’s many works reflect a gratitude and appreciation for God’s world and America. He loved Winter Park, which became his 'Florida paradise.' This statue, now dedicated to his memory, is a testimonial to that devotion. December, 1966."

Polasek was born in 1879 in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm, Moravia (now part of the Czech Republic). He apprenticed as a woodcarver in Vienna, Austria, and immigrated to the United States in 1901. After working in the Midwest for nearly four years, Polasek finally began his formal training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1910, Polasek won the Prix de Rome competition, spending three years at the American Academy of Art in Rome, Italy. Once he completed his studies in Rome, Polasek moved to New York City, New York, and set up a studio there. In 1916, the Art Institute of Chicago invited him to head its sculpture department, where he remained for nearly 30 years.

In 1949, Polasek retired to Winter Park, Florida, building a home on Lake Osceola. In spite of suffering a stroke in 1950 that left him confined to a wheelchair and his left side paralyzed, Polasek continued to paint, draw, sculpt clay, and carve wood, creating a total of 18 major works before his death in 1965. In 1961, Polasek established the Polasek Foundation, designating his personal galleries, chapel, and gardens as a museum. Each year, thousands of local and international guests come to Winter Park to visit Polasek’s historic home and studio at the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens. Polasek’s works can be found in Europe, all over the United States, and locally in Winter Park and Orlando.


Original sculpture: Polasek, Albin. Forest Idyl, 1964. Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, Winter Park, Florida.

Date Created


Is Format Of

Digital reproduction of original sculpture: Polasek, Albin. Forest Idyl, 1964.

Is Part Of

Art Legends of Orange County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




300 KB


1 black and white photograph


Still Image


Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens, Winter Park, Florida

Accrual Method



History Teacher
Humanities Teacher
Visual Arts Teacher


Originally created by Albin Polasek.

Rights Holder

Copyright to this resource is held by Albin Polasek and is provided here by RICHES of Central Florida for educational purposes only.

Contributing Project


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

External Reference

"ALBIN POLASEK BIOGRAPHY." Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens.
Polasek, Emily M. K., and Albin Polasek. Albin Polasek: Man Carving His Own Destiny. 1970.
Sherwood, Ruth. Carving His Own Destiny: The Story of Albin Polášek. Chicago: R.F. Seymour, 1954.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 black and white photograph


“Forest Idyl by Albin Polasek,” RICHES, accessed May 19, 2024,