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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another View of Pulaski and Public Art

I've blogged in the past about Casimir Pulaski and commented on the way we memorialize Revolutionary War leaders.  On a recent visit to the Philadelphia Art Museum, I explored the statues of various Revolutionary War leaders who "reside" behind the museum, overlooking the Schuylkill River. Lafayette is one, about whom I recently blogged.  Here is the Pulaski statue:


It is a remarkable pose.  

The statue, along with the others here, were the result of the will of General William M. Reilly to acquire such monuments to Revolutionary War heroes.  More information may be found here.  Pulaski was one of four "foreigners" who devoted themselves to the cause and were actually specified in Reilly's will of 1890.  It was not sculpted until 1947, by Sidney Waugh.

We often take these statues for granted.  They seem to relate to another, more militaristic age.  Maybe they have simply become part of the environment.  Whatever.  It is good to stop and pause, and consider the person so memorialized.  Such were flesh and blood, not bronze and stone.  Perhaps, when we see such an expression on this one, we can get a glimpse into the mind of the person, and consider the reality, and not the image.  



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