Jerome Connor was a native of Annascaul, Co Kerry. Jerome’s father was as stonemason and would work with his father’s tools and chisel and carve on local stone. In 1888 Jerome emigrated to Massachusetts where he was able to eventually find work in New York as a stonemason, sign writer and machinist
Connor was very influenced by Irish American sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens where he uses the human shape to explore values, emotions and ideals. We see this clearly in the Eire sculpture and a lot of Connor’s work is a departure from the Irish tradition of stone carved, church sponsored works.
Connor is a recognized world class sculptor and is also renowned for is his best known work Nuns of the Battlefield where over six hundreds nuns nursed soldiers of both armies during the American Civil War.
Connor moved back to Ireland from the United States in 1925 and moved to Dublin and in 1926 he was contacted by Roycroft to design and cast a statue of Elbert Hubbard who, with his wife Alice, who had perished in the sinking of the Lusitania. The Elbert Hubbard statute was unveiled in 1930 and today and can be seen on the East Aurora’s Middle School lawns across from the Roycroft Chapel building.
Jerome Connor unveiled a beautiful statue of Bishop John Carroll who was born in Donegal. Bishop Carroll served as the first bishop and archbishop in the United States. He was a prelate of the Catholic Church and was instrumental in the founding and development of Georgetown University.
Jerome Connor moved back to Ireland in 1925 and opened his own studio, but his work began to slow due to lack of support and patrons. Jerome died of heart failure in 1943 and a gallery of his sculptor collection can be found upstairs in the SouthPole inn.