Monday, November 11th
6 — 8 p.m.
“The Art of the American War Memorial"
Columbia Museum of Art - Auditorium : 1515 Main St, Columbia, SC 29202
The monument to the Palmetto Regiment on the grounds of the South Carolina State House was one of the few war memorials in the United States before the Civil War. In contrast, many communities installed monuments in the aftermath of the Civil War. The monument to the Confederate dead in front of the South Carolina State House is an example of a generic statue, but these works varied considerably in artistic ambition.
The talk will survey the rise of an American vocabulary of war memorials by focusing on Daniel Chester French, whose work shows how Civil War monuments became the center of an American memorial tradition that reinterpreted the Revolution and also shaped commemoration of later wars. French’s Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts (1871-75), the most famous sculptural depiction of the Revolution, applied recent Civil War precedents and typified a trend toward celebration of the citizen-soldier. French’s subsequent work on Civil War monuments influenced his contemplative World War I monuments, which pointed toward works such as Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial. French’s development illuminates a tension between ideals of martial vigor and reflective mourning that continue to shape American war memorials.
"The Art of the American War Memorial," is part of the Faculty Spotlight Series presented by the History Center. Lecture cosponsored by Historic Columbia. Free and open to the public.