Biography: Born in France, Laurent came to the United States under the patronage of critic and collector Hamilton Easter Field. In the early 20th century, Field traveled to Rome and Paris and studied with Maurice Sterne. He was exposed to the latest sculpture by Picasso, Brancusi, and Gauguin, and to the African sculpture that so interested Picasso in this period. Returning to the United States, Laurent was a pioneer of direct carving and he earned many public and private commissions, including work at Radio City Music Hall. He taught at the Art Students League and at Field's school in Ogunquit, Maine, and later he was a professor of fine arts at Indiana University.