Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A footnote --George Washington almost Nude!

I meant to post this with the Smithsonian Museum of American History but somehow missed it.  But it is too good to leave out.
When I saw this statue of George Washington I was really surprised.  It was done in 1841, long after he died so I know he did not sit for it.  And something tells me he would have been very upset if he had ever seen it.  I am presently reading the book, "1776" by David McCullough and there is a description of Washington that hardly fits this  statue..."With his height (six feet, two inches) and his beautifully tailored military attire, the commander-in-chief was easy to distinguish in an army where almost no one was as tall and few had even a semblance of a uniform.  A leader, he believed ought both to act and look the part."

When I got back to the RV I looked up the statue in Wikipedia and found this....
The U.S. Congress commissioned Horatio Greenough to create a statue of Washington for display in the U.S. Capitol rotunda. When the marble statue arrived in Washington, DC in 1841, however, it immediately generated controversy and criticism. Many found the sight of a half-naked Washington offensive, even comical. The statue was relocated to the east lawn of the Capitol in 1843. Disapproval continued and some joked that Washington was desperately reaching for his clothes, then on exhibit at the Patent Office several blocks to the north. In 1908, the statue was brought back indoors when Congress transferred it to the Smithsonian Castle, where it remained until 1964. It was then moved to the new Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History). The marble statue has been exhibited on the second floor of the museum since that time.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know Washington was a Greek god! What a diverse history our country has ;P