Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 13

I.

Manhattan Can Turn the Nation

Beautiful City

by Dean Andromidas

PART III of Three Parts they had attended the Beaux Arts school, in Rome
where they founded an American School, or in Flor-
ence, where many opened their own studios. They inau-
The City and the Building of a gurated an era of the monumental and the monument.
Temple to the Republic Their creations can be seen all over the city. These
works include the New York Public Library, City Hall,
February 2017A city is no city unless it honors its the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Low Library at Co-
heroes, martyrs, and citizens who have made noble lumbia University, and many other structures, that
contributions to the city and country. A true memorial while by no means ugly, in many cases may be seen as
should commemorate the deeds of the past to instruct more monumental than beautiful.
and inspire future generations. It must also express They were concerned not only with buildings, but
beauty. The ancient Hellenes always commemorated also city planning. In this regard, they picked up from
those who fell in battle to save their nation, especiallythe work of the previous generation such as Olmsteads
those who died defending all of Greece from the two creation of Central Park, Riverside Park on the west
invasions of the Babylonian-Persian Empire. The build- side of Manhattan, and Prospect and Fort Greene Parks
ing of the Parthenon was motivated not only by the in Brooklyn.
need to rebuild the temples de-
stroyed by the Persians, but also
to celebrate the Greek victory
with a living memorial.
As New York City entered
the postbellum era, it experi-
enced an explosion of economic
development and expansion in
all directions. Manhattan and
eastern Brooklyn expanded
beyond recognition as the Man-
hattan grid was filled up, and
a new grid was laid out in
Brooklyn. By the end of the
second half of the 19th Century,
the so-called City Beautiful
movement came into being. It
was promoted by a group of ar-
chitects and sculptors, many of EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
whom studied in Paris where The 42nd Street Library in New York City.

8 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017
Within this movement, there was a debate
between the classical Greek style and the Roman
style.
While the monumental concerned itself
with public buildings, including city halls, court-
houses, museums, schools, and universities, the
monument concerned itself with commemora-
tion of a great leadermilitary, political, civic, or
literary. New York City is filled with such monu-
ments, especially equestrian statues of Civil War
generals erected at the expense of old comrades
who became men of great wealth following the
Civil War.
Many of these statues were set in elaborated
squares and plazas, such Grand Army Plaza at
the southeast corner of Central Park at the inter-
section of 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, home to
Augustus Saint-Gaudens magnificent eques-
trian statue of General William Tecumseh Sher-
man, and Washington Square Park with its beau-
tiful Triumphal Arch. Another Grand Army
Plaza graces the entrance to Prospect Park,
Brooklyn, with a complete ensemble of monu-
ments including a Triumphal Arch.
While many of these statues and monuments
were executed by some of the best sculptors and
architects of the time, and many can be seen on Creative Commons
the busy thoroughfares of Manhattan, one mon- The north face of the Washington Square Arch.
ument that is of seminal importance for New
York is almost forgotten and never seen by most New crime in itself, and therefore warrants a telling in this
Yorkers. It is the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in narrative in summary form.
Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn overlooking Wallabout Most of these prisoners were not sailors of the Rev-
Bay, the site of the old Brooklyn Navy Yard. This is the olutionary Navy, which hardly existed, but were sailors
same Fort Greene of the Revolutionary War Battle of of privateers and merchantmen captured by the British
New York. Modeled on the commemorative monu- Navy. By the laws of war, the revolutionary govern-
ments of the Ancient Greeks, it is a single huge Doric ment was not responsible for them. They were not to be
column topped by an ancient tripod holding an eternal released in return for the release of British prisoners.
flame. It stands atop a tomb, the final resting place of Indeed, British prisoners were highly trained profes-
many of the 11,500 Americans who died as prisoners of sional soldiers, while many of these seaman were
war during the American Revolution. Imprisoned in the unable even to use firearms.
rotting hulks of old British warships, their deaths mark The British captured and kept them for two reasons:
the most infamous war crime of His Majestys Army A warship of His Majestys navy shared many of the
and Navy, unequaled in that war. attributes of a prison ship. Much of its crew had been
This wanton murder, for murder it was, of more than kidnapped by press gangs deployed in English and
11,500 men and women, is more than twice the number Scottish harbors. A contingent of Marines was always
of 4,500 revolutionary soldiers who died in battle on board, not so much to fight the enemy as to prevent
during the entire Revolutionary War. It is almost four mutinies by the crew. In times of war, the British Navy
times the number of Americans killed in the World was always short of able-bodied seamen. So the idea of
Trade Center. That such a crime is all but forgotten is a imprisoning Americans sailors under horrible condi-

July 14, 2017 EIR The Summit and the Great Projects 9
tions was seen as an inducement for them to join the At the wars end, those who survived left their pris-
navy of the Motherland. The vast majority, being pa- ons freer men than when they were captured.
triots, refused, for they would rather have died than It would be many decades before a fitting grave, let
betray the revolution. alone a monument would be given to the thousands
His Majestys army was even more hard-pressed for who perished. Yet even the dead can make their pres-
manpower. In several battles, including the Battle of ence felt. As the shallow graves along Wallabout Bay
Saratoga and especially Yorktown, where the British began to expose the bones of the fallen victims, and
surrendered, thousands of well-trained, battle-hardened when the building of the Navy Yard began, the bones
soldiers, irreplaceable at the time, became Washing- were collectedonly to be put into barrels and boxes
tons prisoners. and reburied in the nearby property of John Jackson.
By contrast, the British held few revolutionary sol- Later, with the help of Tammany Hall and concerned
diers as prisoners, because Washingtons tactic of fight- citizens, Jackson erected a tomb on his property topped
ing, then retreating to fight another day, gave little op- by a memorial, but not of immortal stone, but of easily-
portunity to take captives. Manipulating the rules of perishable wood. And soon it indeed perished, becom-
war, the British therefore simply went out and captured ing a local eyesore.
merchant seamen as hostages to trade for British and It wasnt until 1864 that action was taken, when Fort
Hessian soldiers. Washington had to refuse, since such Greene was transformed into a park and become the site
a trade was like giving up battle tanks for jeepsmore- of a real tomb and memorial. Frederick Law Olmstead
over it would just encourage the British to continue to and Calvert Vaux, fresh from their creation of Central
capture more seamen. Park, were commissioned to carry out the work. They
So these poor men, under terrible conditions, faced erected a fitting tomb into a hillside of the park, where
death. In the prison ship Jersey, known as Hell by its the bones were soon transferred. Olmstead and Vaux
inmates, the men died at the rate of ten a day, three hun- had planned to top the tomb with a memorial in the pop-
dred per month and 1,200 a year, and were buried in ular Gothic style, but this was never done.
shallow graves on the shore of Wallabout Bay, or simply It wasnt until 1905 that the firm of McKim, Mead
cast into the deeper waters of the lower Bay of New and White, one of the most famous of the Beaux Arts
York. firms, was given the commission to create a monument.
A poem by J.M. Scott tells the horrid tales of those The task was entrusted to Stanford White, senior part-
on the Jersey and the Scorpion: ner of the firm. His works included the triumphal arch
in Washington Square Park and the nearby Italianate
Let the dark Scorpions bulk narrate Judson Memorial Church. He was also the architect of
The dismal tale of English hate Gould Memorial Library at todays Bronx Community
Her horrid scenes let Jersey tell College, around which the American Hall of Fame col-
And mock the shadows where demons dwell. onnade referenced in Part II of this narrative is located.
Their shrieks of pain, and the dying groan, As in the Greek classical tradition, White chose a
Unheeded fall on ears of stone. single graceful Doric column topped by a tripod and an
eternal flame. At the base of the column were two sculp-
All Washington could do was to appeal to the hu- tured eagles executed by Adolph Weinman.
manity, or lack thereof, of the British Commander, The commemoration of these martyrs was an annual
General William Howe, to whom he wrote: event as part of the Evacuation Day celebrations. The
latter commemorated the dayNov. 25, 1783when
You may call us rebels, and say that we deserve the British finally evacuated New York City. It had been
no better treatment. But remember, my Lord, a major yearly celebration in the city up until 1916,
that supposing us rebels, we still have feelings as after which it was seen as politically incorrect when the
keen and sensible as Loyalists, and will, if forced United States allied with the British Empire in World
to it, most assuredly retaliate upon those upon War I. Following a refurbishing, in November 2008, a
whom we look as the unjust invaders of our major celebration was held to commemorate the monu-
rights, liberties and properties. ments centennial.

10 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017
Following a campaign led New York and the
by the Lower Manhattan His- Creation of the Lincoln
torical Society, Bowling Green Memorial
in Lower Manhattan was co- It might be hard to believe
named Evacuation Day Plaza, that fifty years after the end of
November 25, 1783. The sign the Civil War, there was no
was erected on Feb. 22, 2016, monument in the nations capi-
George Washingtons birthday. tal to the man who saved the
We must return to Athens Union, save only for a statue
for an answer to the question of erected in 1868 in front of the
what is a fitting memorial. District of Columbia City Hall.
By way of introduction: In At the turn of the century, the
Prospect Park, Brooklyn, there members of the City Beautiful
stands a monument dedicated Movement made the first real
to the great patriot of freedom, efforts to create a memorial.
the Marquis de Lafayette. In- By 1910 Congress had passed
stead of an equestrian statue the necessary legislation, and
atop a pedestal that towers over in 1911 a Lincoln Memorial
the viewer, we see a bronze Commission was established.
bas-relief executed by the There was already a com-
sculptor Daniel Chester mission of architects and
French. Rather than mounted sculptors, veterans of the City
on his horse, as if marching Beautiful Movement, who
into battle, Lafayette stands in were busy planning the reno-
a noble pose in front of his vation of Washington D.C., es-
horse, overseeing the battle- pecially the Mall lying be-
field. A sense of motion is cc/Beyond My Ken
tween the Capitol building and
The Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, at the center of
given to the image by Lafay- Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, New York, the White House, where most
ettes African-American or- commemorates the 11,500 American prisoners who of the government buildings
derly, who struggles with the died aboard 11 British prison ships during the are concentrated. They strove
reigns, as the horse appears to American Revolutionary War. to revive LEnfants original
pull his head up in protest. The plan. They were called the Fine
scene is crested with a blossoming magnolia tree. This Arts Commission, and they dominated the proceedings.
orderly is not just a stand-in, but is the slave James Ar- They included such famous architects as John Russell
mistead, who also served as Lafayettes spy, especially Pope, who had designed of the National Archives, the
during the battle of Yorktown. After successfully peti- Jefferson Memorial and the West Building of the Na-
tioning the Virginia State Assembly for his freedom, in tional Gallery of Art. Another member was Charles
an effort aided by Lafayette, James took the French- McKim, senior partner in the famous New York City
mans name for his own. architecture firm of McKim, Mead, and White. Most
The work is mounted in a frame of pink granite bas- were from New York, and were well-known for design-
relief designed by the architect Henry Bacon. The relief ing famous museums, and public and university build-
columns are inspired by the Tower of Winds in Athens. ings across the country. Yet none of them were chosen
Unlike the equestrian and other monuments executed in to design what would become the most important mon-
heroic style, this memorial exudes a sense of thought- ument in the United States, which was to be unprece-
ful understatement, that impels the viewer to reflection dented in its size and conception. The choice was Henry
rather than over-dramatic awe. It was these two artists, Bacon.
from their studios in New York City, who created the Known as the Architects Architect, Bacon was
Lincoln Memorial, Americas most celebrated monu- cut from a different cloth than many of his colleagues in
ment. the City Beautiful Movement. Born in Illinois in 1866,

July 14, 2017 EIR The Summit and the Great Projects 11
the son of a government engineer of tect, James Brite, in 1897. In 1901,
old Massachusetts stock, he was Bacon was approached by the Fine
raised in North Carolina, where his Arts Commission to draft plans for a
father was carrying out engineering memorial in Washington dedicated
works for the Army Corps of Engi- to Lincoln. It was in that year that he
neers. After one year at the univer- began to develop his ideas for the
sity, he left to work as a draftsman memorial, and spent many hours of
and architect in Boston, and then in his own time, so much so that his
New York at McKim, Mead, and partnership broke up because Brite
White. Having won a Rotch Schol- could not agree to Bacons spending
arship allowing him to conduct a so much time on an unpaid project.
study tour of Italy, Greece, and Asia No matterBacons practice con-
Minor, he soon developed a keen in- tinued to flourish, and he achieved
terest in classical Greek architecture. an artists immortality which Brite
While on his study tour in what is never hoped nor sought to achieve.
now Turkey, with his brother, Fran- From the beginning, the Lincoln
cis Henry Bacon, also an architect memorial was intended to be the
and artist, the two brothers married Exeter Historical Society
most important monument in Wash-
Henry Bacon
into the Calvert family, consuls for ington after the Capitol Building and
British and American interests in the the Washington Monument. It could
Dardanelles. The Calverts owned a farm on which the not be a statue on a pedestal in some overly ornamental
famous site of Troy was discovered by the German en- setting.
trepreneur and archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. For Bacon, the model was the Parthenon. Not only
During his study tour of Europe, Bacon met another in its form, but in its very conception. The Parthenon
American student, Albert Kahn, who would later found was not conceived like any other temple in the Hellenic
one of the most successful industrial architecture firms world. The temples to Zeus and the other gods were cult
in the United states, Albert Kahn Associates. This large centers whose purpose was to propitiate a powerful,
firm, which at one time exceeded 600 employees and and most often a cruel deity, while the Parthenon cele-
still exists today, designed Detroit as the nations brated Athena, the goddess who gave man the capacity
motor city, including many of the automobile facto- for creating beauty, justice, and wisdom.
ries there. But Kahn also designed graceful institutional Lincoln was no mere hero on the battlefield; his
buildings in the Neo-Classical and Renaissance styles qualities and his gifts to the nation went beyond the
which brought Americas industrial expansion and the struggle on the battlefield. The memorial would take
City Beautiful Movement together. the form of a temple celebrating the man who saved the
Kahn said of Bacon, to me he proved not only a Republic. But it would be more; it would be a temple
splendid teacher, but a real friend, whose kindness and celebrating that Republic of which Lincoln himself was
stimulating influence I have treasured ever since. This the personification, like the famous temple to Athena,
was a sentiment held by all who knew Bacon. who was not merely a powerful goddess, but the deity
In a time of Big Industry, and Big Science, of Hellenic civilization itself. The idea of a memorial to
Kahn and the firm McKim, Mead, and White repre- Lincoln being a Greek Temple kicked up no little
sented Big Architecture, where one major project controversy. But what else could it be but a work cast in
could be the work of tens of draftsmen and junior archi- light of the classical principles of Greece?
tects, laboring to bring into completion the senior archi- Speaking of Greek classical art, John La Farge, a
tects initial idea. great American artist and decorator, and a friend and
But this was not for Bacon, for one could call him collaborator of Bacon, wrote:
the poet of this generation of architects. For him, archi-
tecture was first an art and only second a career. That is to say, that they too often do not look to
After returning to McKim, Mead and White, he the end, but to the means, while to the artist the
soon left to establish his own firm with another archi- means are a mere pathas with the Greeks,

12 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017
whose work will live, even
if its very physical existence
is obliterated, because it is
built in the mind, in the eter-
nity of thought. So Greek art
existed, and has lived, and
lives, the most flourishing
and richest that we know
ofwith less to represent it
than we turn out daily. So it
lived, when it had no longer
anything of its own body to
represent it, in everything
that was done in every coun-
try which kept its lessons;
and lives still, without ex-
amples to refer to, even into EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
the very painting of today. The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., modeled on the Parthenon.

What other form of art could commemorate Lin- or aspiration engendered by a memorial there to
coln, who is above all remembered for saving a republic Lincoln and his great qualities will be immea-
whose principles will live even beyond the life of that surable, stimulated by being associated with the
republic? like feelings already identified with the capital
In an interview appearing in the New York Tribune and the monument to George Washington.
on Jan. 7, 1912, Bacon developed his idea: On the other end of the axis we have the man
who saved that government, and in between the
The power of impression by an object of rever- two is the monument to its founder.
ence and honor is greatest when it is secluded All three of the structures, stretching in one
and isolated, for then, in quiet, and without dis- grand sweep from Capitol Hill to the Potomac,
traction of the senses or mind, the beholder is will lend, one to the others, the association and
alone with the lesson which the object is de- memories connected with each, and each will
signed to teach and inspire, and will be most have its value increased by being on one axis and
subject to its meaning. having visual relations with the others.
This principle of seclusion is an old one. At In a vista over two miles long, these three
the height of the achievement in Greece is found large structures, so placed that they will for ever
the Athena.... be free from proximity to the turmoil of ordinary
The design of the Lincoln Memorial, by affairs and the discordant irregularity of adjacent
withdrawing into the seclusion of a monumental secular buildings, will testify to the reverence
hall the statue of Lincoln and memorials of his and honor which attended their erection; and the
two great speeches, and by placing this hall, ex- impression of their dignity and stateliness on the
pressing in its interior the union, in the seclusion mind of the beholder will be augmented by the
of an area surrounded by groves of trees bor- surroundings, for which we have free field for
dered by the Potomac and related to the monu- symmetrical and proper arrangement.
ment to Washington, will have a significance They are, however, sufficiently far apart for
that is not possible on any other site in the United each to be distinguished, isolated and serene, not
States. conflicting in design or appearance the one with
Terminating the axis which unites it with the the other, and each will impress the observer
Washington monument, it has a significance with the reason for its existence....
which no other site can equal, and any emulation

July 14, 2017 EIR The Summit and the Great Projects 13
CC/Hu Totya
The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, on a line from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington
Monument (in the background), and the U.S. Capitol.

[The reflecting lagoon adds to tranquility and retire- great speeches, one of the Gettysburg speech,
ment:] the other of the second inaugural address, each
with attendant sculpture and paintings, telling in
The Potomac Bridge connects the site with Ar- allegory of his splendid qualities evident in those
lington Cemetery, where the dust of those who speeches.
gave the last full increase of devotion to their
country is also a symbol of Reunion. We are not [On Lincolns statue:]
enemies, but friends. We must not be ene-
mies.First Inaugural Address.... It will occupy the space of honor, a position
The Memorial itself should be free from the facing the entrance which opens toward the Cap-
near approach of vehicles and traffic. Reverence itol. This position is in a central hold, separated
and honor should suffer no distraction through by screens of columns from spaces at each side,
lack of stillness or repose in the presence of a in each of which will be one of the other memo-
structure reared to noble aims and great deeds. rials. Each of these three memorial will thus be
I propose that the memorial to Lincoln take secluded and isolated, and will exert its greatest
the form of a monument symbolizing the union influence.
of the United States of America, enclosing in the I cannot imagine a memorial to Lincoln so
walls of its sanctuary three memorials to the man powerful in its meaning and so appropriate to his
himself, on a statue of heroic size expressing the life as an imposing emblem of the Union, en-
human personality, the other memorials of his

14 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017
kernel the memorials of Lin-
colns great qualities which
must be so portrayed to man-
kind that Devotion, Integrity,
Charity, Patience, Intelligence
and Humanness will find in-
centives to growth by contem-
plation of a monument to his
memory and to the Union the
just pride that citizens of the
United States have in their
country will be supplemented
by increasing gratitude to
Abraham Lincoln for saving it
to them and their children.
The Washington Monu-
ment provides enough of the
vertical. In the capitol you have
the dome effect, and the Lin-
coln memorial would therefore
furnish the horizontal element
in a scene of great beauty and
historical significance, not
wikipedia/ Attilio Piccirilli conflicting in design and
The statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. making an imposing whole.

closing memorials of his qualities and achieve- While Bacon made innumerable journeys to Wash-
ments. ington to study the site, the memorial itself was created
Each memorial, placed on a site of such sig- in New York, not just in its conception and design, but
nificance and possibility of broad treatment as even some of the most important components.
the site in the Potomac Park, will convey its While Bacon designed the Temple, the statue of
lesson with the greatest of force. Lincoln was created by Daniel Chester French and the
often overlooked murals were the work of Jules Guerin,
[It is set on a hill:] while the dedication behind Lincoln was composed by
art critic Royal Cortissoz. All lived and worked in New
On this will rise the memorial to Lincoln, a mon- York City. In fact their offices, studios, and even their
ument representing the Union he saved by his homes and social clubs were within walking distances
extraordinary gifts and powers and to which his of each other. This area was the Gramarcy Park neigh-
devotion was supreme. borhood and Greenwich Village. Bacons office was on
[The 13 plinths of steps represent the first 13 160 Fifth Avenue (the building still stands) at 21st
states; the 36 columns represent the states of the Street, and he apparently maintained his home in the
Union in 1865. On the wall of the hall rising area. French maintained a studio in the area and lived at
above the columns,are the 48 states:] an address on Gramarcy Park. It is said he created the
These three features of the exterior design Lincoln models at the studio of his summer residence,
represent the Union as originally formed, as it Chesterwood, in Massachusetts, in a home designed by
was at the triumph of Lincolns life, and as it is Bacon. Guerin maintained a studio first in the West Vil-
when we plan to erect a monument to his lage, but later a penthouse studio atop an office building
memory. on East 23rd Street and Park Avenue South, and a home
These cumulative symbols house as their on Gramarcy Park a few short blocks from his studio.

July 14, 2017 EIR The Summit and the Great Projects 15
Bacon, Guerin, and Cortis- to turn matter into spirit. To
soz were members of the Players infuse a soul into raw stone or
Club, also on Gramarcy Park, bronze.
while French was a member of Many of these artists had un-
the National Arts Club, which dergone training in Paris, Rome,
was just next door. and Florence, tutored by some
All had worked closely to- of the most celebrated artists of
gether for many years and en- the time. Many of the Americans
joyed intimate professional and stayed in Europe and expressed
social relations. themselves in the styles of the
According to one anecdote, impressionism and mannerism
Bacon, in the company of his popular in Europe at the time.
friend and fellow architect Those who stayed in Europe
Charles Platt, sketched out his were often held, perhaps rightly,
ideas for the Lincoln Memorial to have succumbed to the deca-
on the public table at the Players dence of Europe.
Club. It was Platt who in 1907 But others who assimilated
designed the town house of Sara the artistic craftsmanship of-
Delano Roosevelt, which she fered in Europe, returned to the
shared with her son Franklin; El- United States with the convic-
eanor Roosevelt described Platt tion that the American artist
as an architect of great taste. should express himself through
That house still stands as the American themes. Daniel Ches-
Roosevelt Public Policy Insti- ter French was among the latter.
tute of Hunter College. They set before themselves the
EIRNS/Stuart Lewis
The proximity of their places same mission as Poe did for es-
of work, home, and recreation tablishing an American literary
offered more than mere convenience. excellence, but for sculpture and the
At the time, this particular part of plastic arts. New York soon became
Manhattan was the Florence of the the center of this great mission.
United States for the plastic arts. The It could be said that French was of
nations leading painters and sculp- the second generation of American
tors had their homes and studios in sculpture. One of his mentors was
these few square blocks. Even the John Quincy Adams Ward. (Even
parks and squares of the neighbor- Wards name says something about
hood were the sites of monuments him.) He is the creator of the statue of
and statues created by the artists in Washington that stands before the
residence. Indeed their works can be Federal Building in lower Manhat-
seen throughout the squares, parks tan. Few could deny that it is a mag-
and museums of New York City, as nificent work of art. It is one of the
well as in other cities around the American themes these artists
public domain
nation. wished to express. Ward depicts
John Quincy Adams Ward, circa 1900.
We often walk the streets of New At top, statue of George Washington in Washington stepping forward to take
York, rarely taking a second look at front of Federal Hall in New York City. the oath of the office of the Presi-
the statues and monuments that dency. Washington is not seen in an
adorn the city, and perhaps do not consider them art artificial show of patriotic heroism, ascending to the na-
worth studying. A look at these artists reveals this to be tions highest office with all its honor and power. No.
a mistake, because behind each of them is the immortal Ward reveals the man of great integrity and dignity,
story of how man struggles, as our Greek author said, who reaches to take the oath, not from ambition, but

16 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017
from a profound sense of respon- Union Square, Manhattan, and
sibility. Ward strives to reveal a his statue of a standing Lincoln
certain hesitancy of a man who in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and
realizes he is not taking on a new Union Square in Manhattan.
glorious honor, but rather the Brown spent four years in Italy,
deep and heavy responsibility of and when he returned, he set up
having to preserve the nation he his studio in Brooklyn where he
helped to create. Ward strives to was committed to creating an
bring alive the man, and the hard American idiom for this art.
bronze is transformed into a The Bison Hunt, by
living memorial. Browns student, nephew, and
Ward has not frozen Wash- adopted son Henry Kirke Bush-
ington, but imparted a sense of Brown, a dramatic depiction of a
motion in solid bronze, as one Native American on horseback
would play between the notes slaying a bison, is an obvious
in the performance of a classical Americanization of the classic
musical composition. Sculpture is theme of a man slaying a lion, as
no different from musical compo- in Carl Conrad Albert Wolffs
sition or poetryit is based on Lwenkmpfer [Lion Fighter],
the same aesthetic principles that public domain which stands on the steps of the
have been practiced since the an- Bronze statue of The Freedman (1862-63) by Altes Museum in Berlin.
cient Greeks more than two thou- John Quincy Adams Ward. New York was fast becoming
sand year ago. This can be dra- the Florence or Paris of the
matically demonstrated by comparing Wards The United States in its arts and culture. Ward wrote, The
Freedman, executed in 1862 to commemorate the masses of the people, if they dont get the whole of what
Emancipation Proclamation, with the an artist has expressed, certainly get a
Hellenistic The Boxer at Rest, exe- part of it. I have never yet seen a really
cuted by an unknown master over good art work go a-begging in New
twenty centuries ago, but only discov- York. We artists sometimes whine
ered in 1885. Obviously neither artist about the lack of appreciation. But in
knew the other nor saw the others nine out of ten cases the cause of our
work, but nonetheless they shared the sorrow lies in ourselves. If a true work
same poetic principle, as Poe wrote, of art meets the wants and therefore
and managed to create the in between- stirs the feelings of the ordinary human
ness so essential for truthful art. heart, it is sure to win recognition.
Ward wrote of this work that it was Wards other works can be seen all
a figure we call the freedman for over New York City, including his
want of a better name, but I intended it Indian Hunter, The Pilgrim, The
to express not one set free by any proc- Sentinel and Shakespeare in Cen-
lamation so much as by his own love tral Park, as well as Integrity Protect-
of freedom and a conscious power to ing the Works of Man on the pedi-
Brake [sic] thingsthe struggle is not ment of the New York Stock exchange
over with him (as it never is in this of all places.
life) yet I have tried to express a degree Needless to say both Brown and
of hope in his undertaking. Ward deeply opposed slavery.
Born in 1830, Ward was the pro- CC Ward was Frenchs first mentor.
tg of Henry Kirke Brown, born in The so-called Thermae boxer,
resting after a match. This Greek
After French studied in Wards studio
1814. The latters equestrian statue of bronze statue is of the Hellenistic era for a month, the latter became his life-
George Washington can be seen in (3rd-2nd centuries BC). long friend and collaborator.

July 14, 2017 EIR The Summit and the Great Projects 17
Union and then in Paris and Rome.
As a young boy, he experienced
the political atmosphere of the Civil
War, and from the low vantage point
of a sidewalk, saw Lincolns arrival in
the city after his election, an image
that forever remained with him.
His masterpiece, and one of the
most important masterpieces of his
time, not only in the United States but
internationally, was the Shaw Memo-
rial, dedicated to Colonel Robert
Gould Shaw, who led the first Afri-
can-American regiment to fight in the
Civil War. Shaw and many of his
comrades fell in battle.
It is a high relief, and while it
stands in Boston, it was created in
Saint-Gaudens studio on West 36th
Street in Manhattan. While Saint-
Gaudens first conceived the project
as an equestrian statue, Shaws par-
The original plaster model by Augustus
Saint-Gaudens of the bronze memorial to
ents considered that inappropriate.
Robert Gould Shaw leading the first Although Shaw was brave and fell
African-American regiment, the with honor in battle, he was no Grant
Massachusetts Fifty-Fourth Regiment, or Shermantherefore it is not for his
during the U.S. Civil War. The Bronze
military exploits he was being com-
memorial is across Beacon Street from the
State House in Boston. The model is at the memorated, but for his leadership in
National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. leading the first African American reg-
iment in the Civil War.
It Is Through Public Monuments Saint-Gaudens took this artistic
that We Can Make Our Lives challenge to heart. Shaw is seen
Divine mounted on his horse, every bit the
Before a discussion of French, I leader he was, and behind him in high
must discuss Augustus Saint-Gaudens, relief is his regiment of African-Ameri-
slightly his senior and something of cans. Saint-Gaudens himself said the
another mentor of French. regiment soon took on more importance
Born in Ireland of a French father than Shaw, or better, the two worked to-
and an Irish mother, Saint-Gaudens public domain gether for a strikingly powerful image.
had the passionate personality of his Augustus Saint-Gaudens A project that was originally con-
father, who hailed from southern ceived as a low relief to be completed
France, and the sensitivity of his Irish mother. His father within a year became a labor of love, which took four-
was a shoemaker by trade, a poor man, and the son grew teen years to complete. All of the dozen or so African-
up on the streets of New York City, engaging in fist American soldiers were modeled from real individuals,
fights with the gangs in the neighborhood. Artistically some of whom Saint-Gaudens himself recruited from
inclined from youth, he took up the trade of a cameo the streets of Manhattan.
maker, which offered an opportunity to exercise his ar- The Shaw Memorial was the first public memorial
tistic inclinations, and gave him a modest income to commemorating the heroism of African-Americans in
pursue his artistic education, including study at Cooper the Civil War.

18 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017
Saint-Gaudens also created a This long collaboration made
bust of Sherman from life, which Bacon and French a natural team
now stands in the Metropolitan for the Lincoln monument.
Museum of Art, and following While French created his Lin-
Shermans death, this bust became coln, in clay and then plaster, he did
a model for the artists great eques- not carve it himself. In fact, few
trian statue of the General which sculptors actually carved their
now stands on the southeast corner works themselves. Mostly profes-
of Central Park and Grand Army sional stone-cutters did the job.
Plaza on 59th Street and Fifth French, like many other sculp-
Avenue. tors of the time, gave this task to
Born of New England Puritan the Piccirilli Brothers and their es-
stock despite his name, French tablishment located in the Bronx.
might not have had the passionate This remarkable establishment had
personality of Saint-Gaudens, but been founded by Giuseppe Pic-
he shared his unbounded passion cirilli, a staunch republican and a
for his art. His first commission, veteran of Garibaldis wars of Ital-
the Revolutionary War monument, ian unification, and his six sons.
The Minuteman, stands in Con- The entire family were not only
cord, Massachusetts. After that stone-cutters, but accomplished
http://www.takinbetz.com
commission French, like his men- Bust of General Sherman by Saint-Gaudens. sculptors in their own right. Theirs
tors, left to study in Paris, Rome, was a very New York-style studio.
and especially Florence. While many of his fellow Lunchtime guests often included New York City Mayor
American art students remained in Europe for their Fiorello LaGuardia, with Enrico Caruso singing Nea-
entire careers, French, like Ward and Saint-Gaudens, politan songs. Their own works and those they carved
returned to America to take up the challenge of devel- for others can be seen all over New York City.
oping American art through exercising their own cre- These brothers took Frenchs six-foot plaster model
ativity. Indeed, the America of the Revolution, the Civil of the seated Lincoln, and with the aid of a copying ma-
War, and the great economic
development and growth of the
country demanded an artistic
expression.
French soon left Massachu-
setts and settled among the
growing artistic community in
New York City, where he began
a lifelong collaboration with
Bacon, who designed many of
the pedestals and settings for
his monumental projects, in-
cluding the Nebraska Lin-
coln and the already-men-
tioned Lafayette in Prospect
Park, among many others
throughout New York City and U.S. Library of Congress.
American sculptor Daniel Chester
the United States. Bacon had French. At left: the Minute Man, by
done the same for Saint-Gaud- Daniel Chester French, erected in
ens and many others. public domain 1875 in Concord, Massachusetts.

July 14, 2017 EIR The Summit and the Great Projects 19
chine, they transformed the Georgia marble into the son had just completed a highly successful national
monument we see now. tour, giving benefit concerts before integrated audi-
The monument was completed in 1922, after ten ences in order to raise funds for Howard University.
years in the making. In 1923, Bacon was awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt, who had first met the famous
Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects, singer when she was invited to sing at the White House
which was presented to him by President Harding in a in 1935, intervened, suggesting that she perform the con-
great ceremony on the steps of the Memorial. Within a cert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. President
year he was dead. While earlier virtually unknown out- Franklin Roosevelt strongly supported it as did Secretary
side of his profession, after the completing of the me- of the Interior Harold Ickes, whose department was re-
morial he achieved such fame that thousands attended sponsible for all National Monuments. Ickes himself had
his funeral at St. Georges Episcopal Church near Gram- been a director of the Chicago chapter of the National
arcy park. In 1927, a small memorial was erected at the Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
same church. To demonstrate that she deplored the DARs segre-
A tinge of tragedy can be seen in his widow, who gationist policy, Eleanor resigned her membership, a
lost what ever wealth they held in the 1929 stock market move she made public. Fearing she would upstage An-
crash. Without children to support her, she was sup- derson, Eleanor chose not attend the concert, but she
ported by a modest stipend given by the American Insti- did persuade the major radio broadcasters to cover it.
tute of Architects. On Easter Sunday, 1939 more than 75,000 Ameri-
After Bacons death, which affected him greatly, cans, representing the entire cross-section of the Amer-
French continued the unfinished task of adjusting the ican population, white and black, young and old, high
artificial lighting of the statue, which took another four dignitaries and average working people, gathered to
years to complete. hear Marian Andersons beautiful yet powerful voice.
The story of Lincolns Memorial really begins after Anderson opened her concert with America, My coun-
its completion. try, tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, which was fol-
Behind Lincolns statue is inscribed this epitaph: lowed by operatic classical pieces and a selection of
spirituals. She closed it with an encore, the great spiri-
IN THIS TEMPLE
tual Nobody Knows the Trouble Ive Seen.
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
From that moment on, the Memorial was sanctified.
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
It became and continues to be a temple and shrine for
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
social and political movements seeking to evoke its
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER
power in their fight for justice, and the principles upon
A memorial commemorates, while a temple, as which the Republic rests, which Lincoln saved. So in
with a house of religious worship, offers the worshipper the decades since Marian Andersons concert, the Civil
not only the chance to pay homage to his God, but to Rights Movement held many demonstrations there, the
draw strength for carrying out his God-given destiny most memorable led by Martin Luther King, who gave
into the future. his I have a dream speech in 1963 to a gathering of
In 1939, fourteen years after its completion, the Lin- 250,000. But other social movements rallied there as
coln Memorial demonstrated its ability to give strength well, especially the anti-war movement against the
to the those who believed in the great principles upon Vietnam War and other unjust wars.
which our Republic stands, as so effectively declared Daniel Chester French saw the work that assured his
by Lincolns Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural immortality for the last time in 1928. Speaking to his
Address, now enshrined in the Memorial. daughter on the steps of the Memorial, he asked, I
In that year, forgetting the Revolution they claimed wonder what they will think of this work a thousand
as their parent, the Daughters of the American Revolu- years from now?
tion denied the right of the African-American contralto It was a question we may ask ourselves now, at this
Marian Anderson to perform before an integrated audi- most historical of junctures. What will they think of our
ence at their Constitution Hall, the largest auditorium republic, whose temple these artists created, a thousand
then available in Washington, D.C. At the time Ander- years from now?

20 The Summit and the Great Projects EIR July 14, 2017