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  • Timeline: Daniel Chester French (1850-1931)

    Timeline: Daniel Chester French (1850-1931)

    April 20, 1850 Born in Exeter, New Hampshire. 1869 Executes bust of his father, Henry Flagg French, and relief of his sister, Sarah Flagg French. March-April 1870 Works in studio of John Quincy Adams Ward. Winter 1871-2 Studies with William Rimmer. November 1873 Commissioned to execute Minute Man for town of Concord, Massachusetts. October 1874 Goes to Florence, Italy. Works in studio of Thomas Ball. April 19, 1875 Minute Man dedicated. August 1876 Returns from Italy. November 1876 Resides in […]

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  • Suggestions for Further Reading

    Suggestions for Further Reading

    Adams, Adeline.  Daniel Chester French: Sculptor.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1932. Craven, Wayne.  Sculpture in America.  New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1968; reprint ed., 1984. Cresson, Margaret French.  Journey into Fame: The Life of Daniel Chester French. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1947. Emmet, Alan.  So Fine a Prospect: Historic New England Gardens.  Hanover, NH, and London: University Press of New England, 1996. French, Mary Adams.  Memories of a Sculptor’s Wife.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1928. Gillette, Jane Brown.  Chesterwood.  […]

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  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Daniel Chester French Where is Daniel Chester French buried?  Where is his daughter, Margaret, buried? French is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA. Margaret is buried next to her husband, William Penn Cresson, in the cemetery of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Oaks, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. Sculpture The infamous Abraham Lincoln/sign language story: According to many people, Lincoln’s hands appear to be in the sign language positions for the letters A and L.  This is a coincidence and […]

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  • Staff


    Donna Hassler, Director DHassler@SavingPlaces.org 413-298-3579 x2031 Gerard Blache, Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds GBlache@SavingPlaces.org 413-298-3579 x2021 Lisa Reynolds, Office Manager LReynolds@SavingPlaces.org 413-298-3579 x2034

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  • The Minute Man

    The Minute Man

    In the small town of Concord, Massachusetts, there stands one of the greatest icons of American art, dedicated one hundred years to the day after the Revolutionary War battle it commemorated. In 1872, a committee of citizens awarded a commission to create a monument commemorating the battle at the North Bridge to promising local sculptor Dan French (who was only 22 years old at the time). French, who had never executed a full-sized figure, jumped at the opportunity and agreed […]

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  • Lincoln Memorial

    Lincoln Memorial

    When Daniel Chester French began his life as a sculptor, the most famous American public monuments were portrait figures and equestrian statues, installed in the rotundas of public buildings and in parks.  The Lincoln Memorial, executed at the end of his career, reflects the expansion of the role of both the artist and architect.  Both figures had become dramatists of the nation’s core meaning, its most basic values, commitments, and memories. Each year, over four million visitors make the pilgrimage to the Lincoln […]

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  • The Continents

    The Continents

    Following the Spanish-American War (April-August, 1898), the vast territorial empire that was the United States extended from Cuba to the Philippines.  By the early 1900s, approximately three-quarters of all federal revenue came from customs duties, most of it through the bustling port of New York.  Sited in lower Manhattan, the scale and splendor of the U.S. Custom House (1900-07) symbolized the nation’s burgeoning international influence.  Like so many of the great projects of the American Renaissance, it told its story […]

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  • Samuel F. Dupont Memorial

    “A dry fountain is a pitiful spectacle…” – Daniel Chester French to the Commission of Fine Arts   In 1882, Congress authorized the creation of a statue honoring Civil War Admiral Samuel du Pont, to be located in a newly-fashionable neighborhood in the District of Columbia, not far from the White House.  The du Pont family, however, never liked the statue.  In 1917, in keeping with changing aesthetics, they hired French to replace the statue with a more “artistic” memorial. […]

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  • Daniel Chester French

    Daniel Chester French

      Daniel Chester French was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, on April 20, 1850, to a distinguished New England family.  He was the youngest of four children born to Henry Flagg French, a lawyer, judge and farmer, and his wife, Anne Richardson French. The Frenches were a supportive family that valued and nurtured Daniel’s artistic talent.  They also possessed a strong sense of family and of history, and, as a boy, Daniel took as his middle name “Chester,” after the name of […]

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  • French Added to The Met’s Timeline of Art History

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art has added a biography and timeline for Daniel Chester French to the Met’s timeline of Art History. This is an incredibly useful resource with links and images. Check it out!

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Daniel Chester French Sculptures (Flickr)

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