Central Park

Seventh Regiment Memorial

Seventh Regiment Memorial is an outdoor bronze sculpture honoring the members of that regiment who’s lives were forfeited during the Civil War. The statue was created by John Quincy Adams Ward and the base was designed by Richard Morris Hunt. Although the statue is dated 1869 the monument was not unveiled until June 22, 1874. Ward likely received the commission in 1867, the rest of funding by the Seventh Regiment Monument Association, and by the spring of 1868 he had model prepared. Initially Hunt had envisioned and designed a much larger monument, one with at least five figures, seen as being a part of a 'Warrior Gate' to Central Park. However the park's architects, Olmsted and Vaux, had already clashed with Hunt over matters of aesthetics with the result that Hunt's grand scheme of a series of showy Beaux-Arts entrances to the park was reduced to the Seventh Regiment Memorial. Although critic Wayne Craven considers the work 'a failure', stating,''neither the 'Shakespeare' nor the 'Seventh Regiment Soldier' were portrait statues in the usual sense, and their in lies the explanation for their failures. Ward often lacked the vision to create a successful imaginary portrait, and his images of men who could actually stand before him were, as a rule, much stronger as works of art' the soldier in the monument was modeled by actor, and veteran of the Regiment Steele MacKaye, who wore his own uniform to pose in.

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New York Lexikon