Nakian, Reuben, 1897-1986, American sculptor, b. College Point, New York. Nakian's work is characterized by bold, massive, rough-textured forms organically draped or leaning heavily against one another. Most are abstract portrayals of themes from classical mythology. The monumental Rape of Lucrece (1955-58; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) is made of welded steel sheets and rods. Nakian's works are noted for their spontaneous sensuality.
Reuben, in the Bible, Jacob's eldest son and eponymous ancestor of one of the 12 tribes of Israel. He interceded for his brother Joseph's life and guaranteed the safe return from Egypt of another brother, Benjamin. When Palestine was occupied his tribe, with that of Gad, was allotted the pasture lands E of the Jordan; Reuben was given the region adjoining the Dead Sea and S of Gad. After this the Reubenites are unreported until, with the Gadites, they were deported to Assyria by King Tiglathpileser in his campaign of 733-32 B.C.
Kemper, Reuben, d. 1827, American adventurer, b. Virginia. With his brothers Nathan and Samuel he settled c.1800 in Feliciana, just above Baton Rouge, in West Florida, then Spanish territory. Expelled from their land by the Spanish authorities, they crossed the border into Mississippi Territory, where they organized a small force and declared West Florida independent of Spain. An attempt to take Baton Rouge in 1804 failed. The three were kidnapped in 1805 but were rescued by a U.S. force as they were being taken down the Mississippi River to Baton Rouge by the Spanish. Other forays were climaxed in 1810 by Reuben's attempt to occupy Mobile. He failed and was arrested and detained by U.S. authorities while the Spanish dispersed the rest of his band.

See I. J. Cox, The West Florida Controversy (1918, repr. 1967).

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