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North Salem Couple Turns Home Into Sculpture Gallery

Martin Isler's sculptures are displayed at the North Salem home of Edward Isler and Jane Love.
Martin Isler's sculptures are displayed at the North Salem home of Edward Isler and Jane Love. Photo Credit: Katherine Pacchiana

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – Edward Isler and his wife, Jane Love, have turned their North Salem home into an art gallery for the singular purpose of exhibiting the sculptures of Ed’s father, Martin.

Eighty-five-year-old Martin Isler, after a successful career as the owner of a business specializing in legal graphics and trial presentations, decided to pursue a decades-long interest in sculpting.

He went to Vermont, bought a block of marble, armed himself with some chisels and a studio set-up and literally “dug in.”

Just as Michelangelo is said to have found the statue of David hiding within the stone, Isler began to find many beautiful figures within his massive blocks.

“They come to life in the room as the light changes,” Love said of the forms that now surround her at home. “There’s a lot of expression and feeling when the lights go down. You see different shadows. Sometimes it’s like they step off the podium and start walking around.”

The couple was comfortable about moving the many tons of carved figures into their North Salem home, said Love, because “our house is built on bedrock. There’s no basement so it can withstand just about any weight. Some of the pieces weigh 1,000 pounds in two square feet.”

In the course of finding, transporting and chipping away at massive blocks of stone over the years, Isler became infatuated with the pyramids and their Egyptian architect/builders.

He writes that he wondered how, “with only the limited tools available, they could quarry the stone, level the site, orient it to true north, and how they could plan so that the four sides would come to a point some 500 feet in the sky. Wonderment turned to obsession, so that the next 25 years was spent on travel, research and fieldwork.”

As a result of his studies, Isler published several monographs and a book, “Sticks, Stones, and Shadows: Building the Egyptian Pyramids.” The book is available on Amazon and at other book dealers and many libraries.

To see Isler’s sculptures online and learn more about the artist, go to martinisler.com.

To make an appointment to see Martin Isler’s sculptures in North Salem, contact his daughter-in-law at Jane.love@wilmerhale.com.

Click here to watch Isler's video on "Making of 'Seated Woman With Tiara'."

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