Joy Kroeger Beckner


(American, Contemporary)

Raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Beckner attended Washington University School of Fine Arts. She pursued careers in fashion and fundraising before returning to her training in sculpture in the late 1980's.

Beckner models clay or wax into the desired form rather than carving from a block of marble. Inspired by the shapes of skin, bone and muscle, she models clay into classical forms, which are then cast into bronze. Using the lost-wax process, she first produces the sculpture in wax. Then creating a mold around this made of refractory materials. Afterwards, the mold is heated and the wax melts away. Therefore, the molten metal replaces it, reproducing exactly the original wax sculpture. Sculptors have used the labor-intensive lost wax process for thousands of years.

She first showed in a national competition in 1996. By 1998, Beckner had become a full-time sculptor and in 1999 the Society of Animal Artists elected her to membership. Nationally recognized for her series of life-sized dachshunds, Beckner has won the Ellin P. Speyer Prize from the National Academy, an Award of Excellence from the Society of Animal Artists and a National Sculpture Society Silver Medal.

Her dachshund bronzes are in collections worldwide. Her work is included in the permanent collections of American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, Missouri and The Library of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.