Happy Birthday William Rush!! American painter, born in 1756, William Rush was a sculptor. He was born in Philadelphia and his father was a ship carver. William got his start carving figureheads for ships. It is thought that he created the stepping stone between folk carving and sculpture; regarded by some as the first American sculptor. He was a contemporary of Thomas Eakins. Some of his wood carvings have been cast in bronze, as the one of George Washington, included here, appropriate for America's Independence, celebrated today!