Shelley Haney

October 10, 2012

Post #3140 – 20121010

Mr. Pinkwater: I own a wood carving by an artist named David Nyvall. I’ve tried doing online research on the artist and he is mentioned under your name, that you apprenticed for 3 years under a David Nyvall. I don’t know if this is the same Nyvall.The wood carving i have is called, “Orpheus and the Underworld.” It is orpheus playing his lyre. the carving was given to a relative of my husbands who had given David financial assistance during the 50’s and 60’s.. Nyvall ws a medic during WW2 and spent some time in a mental hospital. Please let me know if this sounds like the Nyvall you knew. I’m just trying to gather any info i can on this artist. Thank you,
Shelley Haney

Daniel replies:

Yes, that's the guy.  I'd love to see a photo of the sculpture--I may know it, or he may have done more than one with the same theme.  He was was the son of a prominent churchman and educator, was a famous draft protester, finally enlisted, and was a surgical technician in WW2, (was torpedoed and rescued twice on the way to participate in the D-Day Landing), then was recruited for espionage work, fought his way out of capture, armed only with a bayonet, in the Battle of the Bulge, resumed his studies and career as an artist after the war, was hospitalized for a time, ultimately diagnosed as epileptic, and was active as a sculptor in Chicago until the late 80s--early 90s.  He was affiliated for a time with the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago.  His work is in the collection of the Whitney Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.