The boldness of Lyford’s direct carving technique is matched by his sensitivity to the materials. He focuses on subjects he loves, whether wildlife or women. The film includes visits to his graceful Dolphins in Portland and the monumental black granite My Mother the Wind on the Portsmouth waterfront.
Born in Sayre, Pennsylvania, in 1925, Lyford served in the Army in World War II before earning a BFA from Cornell. After viewing the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, he vowed to sculpt. In 1947 he attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture where he studied with Charles Cutler. In addition to making art, he wrote scripts for television later taught art history and sculpture at Philips Exeter Academy from 1963 to 1986. Upon retirement, he moved year-round to Pemaquid Harbor. Lyford is winner of the coveted national Academy of Design’s Sculpture Prize. Revered by his patrons, Lyford’s sculpture is found in private and public collections including the Portland Museum of Art, Ogunquit Museum of American Art, Colby College Museum of Art, and the Portland Public Arts Collection.