French, Daniel Chester

The eminent American sculptor on preparation of his medal commemorating the Battle of Manila Bay

Price: $225.00

Description:
(1850-1931) American sculptor whose work is probably more familiar to a wider American audience than that of any other native sculptor. His 1st important commission, from the town of Concord, Mass., was the statue “The Minute Man” (1875), commemorating the Concord fight 100 years earlier. It became the symbol for WW II defense bonds, stamps, and posters. His great work, the marble seated Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington,was dedicated in 1922. In the intervening 50 years he created a vast number of works on American subjects. Among these are equestrian statues of General Ulysses S. Grant in Philadelphia and General George Washington in Paris; 3 pairs of bronze doors for the Boston Public Library; the “Standing Lincoln,” Lincoln, Neb.; the statue of Ralph Waldo Emerson in the Concord, Mass. public library; “Alma Mater” at Columbia University; and the “Four Continents” at the New York City Customhouse. 10 x 8 ALS "French" on his printed Glendale, Massachusetts letterhead, September 1 1898, to "Johnson." French will send Johnson "...a photograph of a sketch for the medal which I have shown to Senator [Henry Cabot] Lodge and which he approves and have sent to the other powers and not heard from them. I have found two figures not advisable on account of space and so cannot plagiarize your [power?]- for the [?] copy of which I thank you; it is fine!" French asks Johnson not to show the medal generally as "...it is still tentative." French is trying to get a better photo of Dewey to work from. The Dewey Medal was a US Navy decoration established by Congress (No. 42, "Joint Resolution Authorizing the Secretary of the Navy to present a sword of honor to Commodore George Dewey, and to cause to be struck bronze medals commemorating the Battle of Manila Bay, and to distribute such medals to the officers and men of the ships of the Asiatic Squadron of the United States") on June 3, 1898. To be awarded the Dewey Medal, a service member (Navy or Marine) must have served on one of the following vessels on May 1, 1898: USS Baltimore, USS Concord, USS McCulloch, USS Nanshan, USS Olympia, USS Petrel, USS Raleigh and USS Zafiro. The Dewey Medal was a one-time only decoration with no devices or campaign stars authorized to the medal. It is a circular medallion, upon which rests an image of Admiral Dewey, suspended from a blue and yellow ribbon. Dewey himself was awarded the medal, although he always wore it with the medal's reverse displayed, depicting a sailor sitting on a gun. Dewey had the rare distinction of being one of only 4 Americans entitled to wear a medal with their own image on it. While recognized as being given for active military duty, because it recognized a single battle in a single campaign, it was a commemorative medal. It was designed by Daniel Chester French, struck by Tiffany & Co. The obverse depicts a bust of Commodore Dewey; the reverse included the name of the vessel on which the recipient served. The recipient's name is engraved on the medal's lower rim, being one of only 2 service medals issued officially named to the recipient.

Condition: Good, some heavy folds, small hole top right not affecting content, 2 slight fold nicks at top
Type:Letter






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