The sculptor Robert Laurent was also an early collector of folk paintings. Born 29 June 1890 in Concarneau, France, he studied at the British Academy in Rome, and Paris with H.E. Field and Frank Burty. He also studied with Maurice Sterne. In 1924, he won a medal in an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, and won an additional prize in 1938. He won a prize in 1942 at the Brooklyn Museum, in 1945 at the Audubon Association (of which he was a member), and also exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Laurent had several one-man shows during his career, including those at the Daniel Gallery, Bourgeois Gallery and Valentine Gallery, the Arts and Crafts Center of New Orleans, Vassar College, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. His work can be seen in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Newark Museum, Vassar College, the Barnes Foundation, Radio City Music Hall, and the Federal Trade Building in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Norton Gallery of Art, the IBM Collection, and the Museum of Modern Art, NY, among others. From 1942 to 1946, Laurent was an art teacher at Indiana University. He also directed the Ogunquit [Maine] School of Painting and Sculpture. Laurent died in 1970.
Falk, Peter Hastings, ed. Who Was Who in American Art. Madison, Connecticut, 1985: 60.