The famous American sculptor that created the Abraham Lincoln seated statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. was born today in 1850. Now WE know em

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Daniel Chester French was born April 20, 1850 in Exeter, New Hampshire.

At the age of 17, French moved with his family to Concord, Massachusetts, where he became a neighbor and friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

After attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for a year, French went back home to work on his father’s farm.

Then, while visiting relatives in Brooklyn, New York City, he became interested in sculpting and spent a month in the studio of John Quincy Adams Ward.

French then traveled to Florence, Italy, spending a year studying and working with sculptor Thomas Ball.

 

The Minute Man

Back in America, French began to work on commission, and at the young age of of 23 received an order from the town of Concord, Massachusetts for a statue.

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On April 19, 1875, his well-known statue titled “The Minute Man” was unveiled on the centenary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

 

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John Harvard Monument

 

In 1884, he completed the John Harvard monument, Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

After these successes, French received commissions for more notable public monuments.

 

1889, Lewis Cass, National Statuary Hall, Washington D.C.

1889, Lewis Cass, National Statuary Hall, Washington D.C.

 

 

Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Alice Gogswell, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.

1889, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Alice Gogswell, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.

 

1891, Thomas Starr King monument, San Francisco, California

1891, Thomas Starr King monument, San Francisco, California

 

 

1893, Statue of the Republic, the colossal centerpiece of the World’s Columbian Exposition

1893, Statue of the Republic, the colossal centerpiece of the World’s Columbian Exposition

In 1893, French became a founding member of the National Sculpture Society, and he became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

 

1897, John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial, Old Suffolk County Court House, Boston, Massachusetts

1897, John Boyle O’Reilly Memorial, Old Suffolk County Court House, Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

1898, Rufus Choate Memorial, Old Suffolk County Court House, Boston, Massachusetts

1898, Rufus Choate Memorial, Old Suffolk County Court House, Boston, Massachusetts

 

 

1900, Richard Morris Hunt Memorial on the perimeter wall of Central Park, 5th Ave. At 70th Street

1900, Richard Morris Hunt Memorial on the perimeter wall of Central Park, 5th Ave. At 70th Street

French also became a member of the National Academy of Design in 1901, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Architectural League, and the Accademia di San Luca, of Rome.

 

1902, Commodore George H. Perkins Monument at the New Hampshire State House

1902, Commodore George H. Perkins Monument at the New Hampshire State House

 

1903, Alma Mater on the campus of Columbia University

1903, Alma Mater on the campus of Columbia University

 

 

 

1905, Angel of Peace - George Robert White Memorial , Forest Hills Cemetery

1905, Angel of Peace – George Robert White Memorial , Forest Hills Cemetery

 

1909, Samuel Spencer on Peachtree Street, Atlanta

1909, Samuel Spencer on Peachtree Street, Atlanta

 

1909, August Meyer Memorial at 10th and Paseo, Kansas City, Missouri

1909, August Meyer Memorial at 10th and Paseo, Kansas City, Missouri

 

1912, Standing Lincoln at Nebraska State Capital

1912, Standing Lincoln at Nebraska State Capital

French was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1913.

 

1915, Brooklyn and Manhattan from the Manhattan Bridge, now in the Brooklyn Museum

1915, Brooklyn and Manhattan from the Manhattan Bridge, now in the Brooklyn Museum

 

1915, The Spirit of Life Memorial to Spencer Trask, Saratoga, New New York

1915, The Spirit of Life Memorial to Spencer Trask, Saratoga, New New York

In 1917, French designed the Pulitzer Prize gold medal presented to laureates.

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Seated Abraham Lincoln for Lincoln Memorial

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Daniel Chester French’s best-known sculpture is Abraham Lincoln seated in the Lincoln Memorial (constructed 1914–22), on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., USA

Daniel Chester French and Piccirilli Brothers circa 1921

Daniel Chester French and Piccirilli Brothers circa 1921

 

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Daniel Chester French died October 7, 1931 in Stockbridge, Massachusetts at the age of 81 and was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts.

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In 1940, French was selected as one of five artists to be honored in the 35-stamp “Famous Americans” series.

 

Now WE know em

 

 

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