General Ulysses S. Grant (1897)

by Daniel Chester French (1850 - 1931)
Edward C. Potter (1857 - 1923)

Photo Caption: Photo Caitlin Martin © 2010 for the Association for Public Art

Commissioned by the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art)

Owned by the City of Philadelphia

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Just four days after the death of General Grant in 1885, the Fairmount Park Art Association (now the Association for Public Art) formed a committee to create a fund for erecting an appropriate memorial. By January of the following year, almost $13,000 had been collected for the Grant Memorial Fund.

Daniel Chester French was awarded the commission for the monument and requested that a former student, Edward C. Potter, work with him. Potter had previously collaborated with French and was particularly interested in the modeling of horses. French depicted Grant “surveying a battlefield from an eminence and . . . intent upon the observation of the forces before him.

The sculpture receiving treatment through our conservation program. Photo © Caitlin Martin for the Association for Public Art.

The horse is obedient . . . to the will of his rider. We endeavored in the figure of Grant to give something of the latent force of the man, manifesting itself through perfect passivity.” The model was completed in 1893 and then enlarged to one and a half times life size in Potter’s studio in Enfield, Massachusetts.

Casting at the Bureau Brothers Foundry began in 1896. The sculpture was dedicated on April 27, 1899, a date selected to coincide with the 77th anniversary of Grant’s birth.

Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).

Voices heard in the Museum Without Walls: AUDIO program: Dennis Montagna directs the National Park Service’s Monument Research and Preservation Program. Richard Torchia is an artist, curator, and Director of the Arcadia University Gallery in Glenside, Pennsylvania. William S. McFeely (1930-2019) was a historian who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Grant: A Biography. | Segment Producer: Ben Shapiro

Museum Without Walls: AUDIO is the Association for Public Art’s award-winning audio program for Philadelphia’s outdoor sculpture. Available for free by phone, mobile app, or online, the program features more than 150 voices from all walks of life – artists, educators, civic leaders, historians, and those with personal connections to the artworks.



This artwork is part of the Along Kelly Drive tour

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