Daniel Chester French, N.A.
The Concord Minuteman of 1775
The Concord Minuteman of 1775 and The Lincoln Memorial are two of the great icons of the American experience. Created by Daniel Chester French, N.A. (1850-1931), the original studio plasters of these sculptures would have to be considered among the most historically important pieces in American art and culture.
In 1873-75 French created his first acknowledged masterpiece, The Concord Minuteman of 1775, as an original, and unique, larger than life size, bronze statue that was unveiled on April 14, 1875 at Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts. Having captured the nobility of this symbol of patriotism and the American War for Independence, the farmer who left his plow behind and took up arms to create democracy in America, French forever more was established as one of America’s leading sculptors. In the fervor of the Centennial, it became a part of the iconography of the Republic. Measuring 33 1/2 inches high, the second version of this famous subject was commissioned by the town fathers of Concord in 1889 for the deck of the gunboat, U.S.S. Concord. The first bronze was placed aboard on February 14, 1891.
The Lincoln Memorial maquette is the first conception of this sculpture, created by French in 1915. It was presented to the Presidentially-created Lincoln Memorial Commission to gain the approval and commission of the U.S. Congress for The Lincoln Memorial. All the subsequent stages of the project, including the finished Memorial itself, are adaptations of this original work of art. Please see the attached photograph of French posing with the plaster maquette in front of a larger model. The 20 foot marble statue was formally given to the United States Government on August 9, 1920 and dedicated to the American people on May 30, 1922.
The Concord Minuteman of 1775 – ca. 1889, 33 ½ inches high, bronze, inscribed on the front at base “The Concord Minuteman of 1775” and on the rear at base “Cast From Original Plaster Model FP” and on the right side at base “D.C. French Sc.”
The Lincoln Memorial Maquette – ca. 1915, 10 inches high, bronze, inscribed on the reverse “D.C. French, June 1915” and on the left side at the base “Cast FR Sculptor’s Plaster Maquette F/P”
Existing bronze sculpture castings were produced by the plaster owner from these two original plasters and the molds that he had made in the late 20th Century – six (6) bronzes of The Concord Minuteman of 1775, and thirteen (13) bronzes of The Lincoln Memorial maquette.
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