Louise Kidder Sparrow, 95, whose work as a sculptor in the 1930s and 1940s earned her an international reputation, died Monday at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center following a heart attack.
Mrs. Sparrow began working here as a sculptor in 1924, after the death of her husband, Navy Capt Herbert G. Sparrow. Capt. Sparrow died when his ship, the USS Tacoma, was wrecked near Vera Cruz, Mexico. Mrs. Sparrow later wrote a book, "The Last Cruise," about her life with him and the circumstances of his death.
Famous for her sculptured portraits and busts, her work was compared to that of Michelangelo's in an article in the "Review Moderne" in the early 1930s.
Mrs. Sparrow's work was exhibited here at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Thirty-one of her busts and other works are on permanent display in public building and galleries in this country and one of her pieces is included in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art here.
Her commissioned pieces include a portrait bust of a Negro youth for Howard University, a bust of woman lawyer Margaret Lambie for Radcliffe College and other works on display at the U.S. Naval observatory, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Capitol and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
She was born in Malden, Mass., and graduated from Emerson College in Boston. She also attended the Thompson-Baldasseroni School of Travel in Massachusetts and studied in Rome and in France. She was a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
Also a poet, Mrs. Sparrow wrote more than a dozen books of poetry. The last, written shortly before her death, was called "Midnight Mediation."
Her life and works have been included as part of the Schlesinger Library of Outstanding American Women at Radcliffe College.
Survivors include a son, Retired Army Maj. Gen. Herbert G. Sparrow of Arlington; a sister, Mrs. Peter K. Olitsky, of Greenwich, Conn., three grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions in her name to the Army Distaff Foundation in Washington.