Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Washington. Naval Monument.
  • William Henry Jackson, artist
    1843–1942
    born: Keesville, New York, United States ; died: New York, New York, United States
    Detroit Photographic Company, publisher
    active 1897–1924
  • Washington. Naval Monument., 1898
  • Where object was made: Washington, DC, United States
  • photochrom
  • Object Height/Width: 17.39 x 22.69 cm
    Object Height/Width: 6 7/8 x 8 15/16 in
  • Gift of David J. and Rita Sloan Gottlieb
  • Not on display
  • 2012.0377
Description

Exterior. A view of the Naval Monument (also known as the Peace Monument, or Civil War Sailors Monument). At front a road cuts across the image, and in front of the monument a small patch of green grass. Behind the monument, a grassy grove with leafy green trees. In the distance, the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is visible above the trees.
At the top of the monument, facing west, stand two classically robed female figures. Grief holds her covered face against the shoulder of History and weeps in mourning. History holds a stylus and a tablet that was inscribed "They died that their country might live." Below Grief and History, another life-size classical female figure represents Victory, holding high a laurel wreath and carrying an oak branch, signifying strength. Below her are the infant Mars, the god of war, and the infant Neptune, god of the sea. The shaft of the monument is decorated with wreaths, ribbons, and scallop shells.
Facing the Capitol is Peace, a classical figure draped from the waist down and holding an olive sprig. Below her are symbols of peace and industry. A dove, now missing and not documented in any known photographs, once nested upon a sheaf of wheat in a grouping of a cornucopia, turned earth, and a sickle resting across a sword. Opposite, the symbols of science, literature, and art (including an angle, a gear, a book, and a pair of dividers) signify the progress of civilization that peace makes possible.
At the corners of the monument, four marble globes are visually supported by massive brackets. The fountain below, with a jet on each side, empties into a quatrefoil-shaped basin.