From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial: The Timeless Sculpture of Daniel Chester French

Introduction

Hailed as the "Dean of American Sculpture" during his lifetime, Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) established his reputation with the iconic statue of the Concord Minute Man; sculpted Ralph Waldo Emerson, the era's leading voice of intellectual culture; and reached the height of his career with the seated Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in the nation's capital.

On view from October 11, 2013 through March 23, 2014 in the Wallace Kane Gallery at the Concord Museum, From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial was a collaboration between the Concord Museum and Chesterwood, a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The first major presentation of French's sculpture since 1976, the exhibition drew upon the rich collections of Chesterwood, the Concord Free Public Library, the Concord Museum, as well as from the Massachusetts Historical Society and private donors.

This on-line exhibition takes you through From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial and brings together new material for an exceptional view into the life of an American sculptor. Watch home movies of French's summer gatherings at Chesterwood and hear why visitors from around the world are so moved by his work at the Lincoln Memorial.  Learn how a sculpture goes from clay to bronze and see a contemporary photographer's interpretation of French's sculpture studio. Hear The Concord Hymn, by Ralph Waldo Emerson and carved on the base of the Minute Man statue, sung to the tune of a classic hymn. Explore the country home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost public sculptor. 


To view images or videos, please click on the images below.
Block 1

Daniel Chester French in His Chesterwood Studio, by Robert Vonnoh, 1913

Block 2Walk through the Daniel Chester French exhibition.
Block 3Play clip

Watch a 10-minute film, Daniel Chester French: Sculpting an American Vision.

To Learn More

Browse the Gallery Guide, From the Minute Man to the Lincoln Memorial, published by the Concord Museum, 2013, with an Introduction by Research Assistant, Dana Pilson.   

Explore Chesterwood, the country home, studio, and gardens of America's foremost public sculptor. 

Read A Heritage of Beauty by Research Assistant Dana Pilson in Antiques & Fine Art, November, 2013.

Background photo credit: The Piccirilli Brothers assembling Daniel Chester French's sculpture of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial, 1920. Photographer unknown, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC. Copy print from Chapin Library, Williams College, Gift of the National Trust for Historic Preservation/Chesterwood, a National Trust Historic Site, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, NT 69.38.1305

Photo/film credits: Cassandra Sohn; Sara Lundberg; Chesterwood