It was in December 1985 when the late Henry A. Ashforth, Jr. and past Chairman and CEO of The Ashforth Company commissioned sculptor William G. Tucker to have Rhea, cast in bronze and installed on site at Ashforth’s Greenwich Plaza. Rhea, weighing about 2,000 pounds, is an abstract representation of the Greek Titaness daughter of the earth goddess, Gaia.
Tucker, a modernist British sculptor, was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1935 and moved to England with his parents as a child, where he was raised. He went to Oxford and moved to New York City in 1978. Initially interested in constructed abstract sculpture, Tucker shifted his focus to creating plaster semi-figurative forms, which were then cast in bronze. His roughly-textured sculptures often resemble a part of the human body on an immense scale. Since living in New York, he has taught at Columbia and at the New York Studio of Drawing Painting and Sculpture. Tucker became an American citizen in 1985.
Greenwich Plaza was home to Rhea for 12 years. Ashforth then moved her to the University of Massachusetts where she was on loan and display for 17 years.
In June of 2015, Ashforth traveled Rhea to Spain. She was part of a three-month retrospective exhibition called “William Tucker Mass and Figure” at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
After the exhibition, Rhea returned to the United States and in March Ashforth has loaned and installed her on the grounds of Greens Farms Academy (GFA), a private pre K-12 school in Westport, CT.
Tucker, currently living in Brooklyn, NY and Massachusetts, was able to visit GFA prior to the installation to determine the final positioning of Rhea, ensuring what he thought would be the best viewing experience. “My father would be proud that we have been able to share Rhea with so many diverse communities over these past 30 years,” said Andrew Ashforth, Co-CEO of The Ashforth Company.