Albert S Corwin

Ethnic group: 
Union Member

1899 and 1900 City Directory: Purdy and Hutcheson employee. Albert Samual Corwin (1861-1940) was an Irish born stone carver who came to this country with his family in 1864. He was active member in the Stonecutters Union. and the March 1898 Stonecutters' Journal notes that Corwin was in Tate, Georgia at that time. He came here in 1899 to work on the Capitol and stayed in St. Paul raising his family here though he traveled throughout the country and Canada for his work. The July 1940 issue of the Stonecutters Journal has an obituary of Corwin, a life member, noting that he had retired 12 years earlier.

Corwin carved major sculptures on the Minnesota Capitol including some of the eagles surrounding the base of the dome and several of the Virtues statues, including "Truth" above the main entrance. He also carved the Winged Victory sculpture on the keystone above the main entrance.  Corwin worked on the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., before moving to St. Paul. In 1907-1908, he did carving on the Swan J. Turnblad Mansion, now the American Swedish Institute on Park Ave. at 26th Street in Minneapolis. He alsoworked on the Parliament Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba between 1916 and 1923. Two of Albert's sons, Eugene and John, became architects.

The Find a Grave website features the following summary on the career of John Raymond Corwin (1895-1983).

John Raymond Corwin was born in Washington, D.C. on July 3, 1895, the son of Albert and Emma Breidert Corwin. The family later moved to St. Paul where he attended Central High School and the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. After serving during World War I and his release from the Army he stayed in France and studied at the Sorbonne for one year. He then worked for C.H. Johnson, State Architect, from 1921-1926 when he joined Ellerbe Architects and was a Board Member and Chief Designer for over 35 years. After retiring, he moved to Alexandria in 1962. He died on July 17, 1983 in St. Paul and is buried in Oakland Cemetery.

Several of his designs include: St. Paul City Hall and Courthouse, Northwestern Bell Telephone, Northern States Power, Minnesota Mutual Insurance, St. Thomas College, Arts and Science Museum, all in St. Paul and the Mayo Clinic Buildings, Methodist Hospital, Kahler Hotel, Mayo Auditorium all in Rochester. In addition, Ray designed the dormitories and the Library Building at the University of Notre Dame. Ray became a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1945.

Corwin was married to Ann Wilhelmina Schlukebier Corwin (1898 - 1967) and later to Ethel (Sandell) Corwin (1904 - 1995) of Alexandria. His daughters were Mrs. Donald (Janet) Farrar of Newport News, VA and Marilyn Sonntag of Brainerd.

Created by: Catherine Cramer. Record added: Aug 15, 2014, Find A Grave Memorial# 134376817

Also see the family tree and biography on Albert Corwin (below) provided by his family.

PDF icon Albert Corwin - Biography with picturesWritten and compiled by Albert's son, Eugene Delbert (Del) Corwin. Courtesy of Albert's great grandson, Robert Corwin
PDF icon Albert Corwin - Family TreeCourtesy Robert Corwin
Residence from date: 
Albert Corwin (right), Herman Schlink (center) and Frank Schlink (left), brother to Herman and rough carver, on steps of the Swan J. Turnblad mansion, ca 1908. Herman Schlink was the master craftsman for all the exterior stone carving on the Turnblad home, which is now the American Swedish Institute.
American Swedish Institute
Albert Corwin and Schlink brothers, Turnblad mansion, ca 1908
Herman Schlink, stone sculptor for the Turnblad mansion, (left) with his brother, Frank Schlink (center), who helped with the rough carving, and carver Albert Corwin, (right), ca 1908.
American Swedish Institute
ulpture, keystone over main entrance by ALbert Corwin, 9-1-1900
Winged Victory sculpture carved by Albert Corwin for the keystone above the main entrance to the State Capitol.
Image courtesy of Thomas Blanck and Associates. Used with permission. Photograph by Haas & Co., Sept. 1, 1900
Corwin and others carvers, Parliament Building, Winnipeg, 1918
Corwin and other stonecutters pose with column capitals they carved for the Parliament Building in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1918.
Stone Cutters Journal, May 1918


Union Advocate, June 29, 1900 article on Albert Corwin
Article on Albert Corwin's appointement as a trustee of the stonecutters union
Union Advocate, June 29, 1900, p. 3
Albert Corwin obituary
St. Paul Pioneer Press, May 9,1940
Letter on Albert Corwin's carving of the marble "Truth" statue at the Capitol, Nov. 21, 1900.
Correspodence from Cass Gilbert papers at New York Historical Society
Letter to C. Gilbert on Corwin's statue carving, 1900
Letter to Cass Gilbert on Albert's carving on the Truth sculpture, November 27, 1900.
Correspodence from Cass Gilbert papers at New York Historical Society,