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August 30, 2013

Make way for sculpture

Creator of Boston's 'Ducklings' statues is honorary chairwoman of Flying Horse show

Joe DiMaggio had a powerful swing, which produced 361 home runs and earned him the nickname “Joltin’ Joe.”

But his swing was also graceful and inspired Beverly sculptor Ephraim Friedman to capture its motion in bronze.

“What my husband loved was the beauty of his swing; he was rhapsodic about that,” said his widow, Dagmar Friedman.

Her husband’s sculpture of the Yankees slugger will appear with works by 22 other artists in the fourth Flying Horse Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, held on the grounds of Pingree School in Hamilton from Sept. 1 through Nov. 24.

Ephraim Friedman, who died in 2011, was an ophthalmologist who at different times was dean of the medical school at Boston University and president of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

He was born in California, like DiMaggio, and watched the Yankees play when he later moved to New York, Dagmar Friedman said.

“When we moved to Boston, he became a Red Sox fan,” she said.

But Ephraim Friedman started sculpting as a small child and continued to work on his art throughout his medical career and retirement.

“He was not only a brilliant man and a wonderful doctor, but a very talented sculptor,” said Nancy Schon, who created the “Make Way for Ducklings” sculptures in Boston Public Garden and is serving as honorary chairwoman of this year’s Pingree show. “He took classes from me at night.”

Like Schon, Friedman also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, in addition to taking classes at BU.

Some of Friedman’s best works were portrait heads, Schon said, and included a likeness of the Boston painter Hyman Bloom.

Another North Shore sculptor, Beverly Seamans of Marblehead, who died last year, will be remembered at the show with an exhibit of 10 works in the school’s library.

Like Schon, who will exhibit a sculpture of a pig named Bacon at Pingree, Seamans often chose animals as her subjects.

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