American sculptor and designer Sidney Waugh served with the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He first worked with military intelligence and later the Allied Military Government following the Allied victory. While serving in North Africa and Europe, most notably in Italy, Waugh worked under fire to save and protect cultural treasures. For his efforts, he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre twice, and was named Knight of the Crown of Italy.
Waugh was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, and studied art in Rome and Paris. In Paris, he worked under Emile Bourdelle, and then for three years with Henri Bouchard. During this time, Waugh was awarded the bronze medal of the Salon de Printemps in 1928 and the silver medal the following year. Also in 1929, he won the Prix de Rome from the Rinehart School of Sculpture in Baltimore and returned to Italy for an additional three years of study as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome.
His architectural sculptures include a group at the National Archives Building, a pediment sculpture at the U.S. Post Office Department Building, and a group at the Federal Reserve Board Building, all in Washington, D.C. Waugh also worked as chief associate designer at Steuben Glass for three decades. President Truman chose his pieces as gifts for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and for Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. Waugh’s sculpture has also been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, the Cleveland Museum of Fine Arts, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He was a member of the New York City Art Commission, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, was a trustee of the American Academy in Rome, and served as president of the National Sculpture Society. Waugh died at the age of 59 of natural causes.