William Earl Dodge StatueWilliam Earl Dodge Statue
“This bronze sculpture depicts William Earl Dodge (1805–1883), one of the founders of Phelps, Dodge, a leading mining company. Dodge helped organize the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the United States and served as the president of the National Temperance Society from 1865 to 1883. John Quincy Adams Ward (1830–1910) sculpted the piece, which was donated by a committee of Dodge’s friends and acquaintances and dedicated October 22, 1885.
Dodge is represented leaning on a podium while delivering a speech. The piece originally stood in Herald Square on a pedestal designed by Richard Morris Hunt (who designed the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty) until it was moved in 1941 to the northeast corner of Bryant Park, after the Bennett Memorial was installed at the square. The original Hunt-designed pedestal, discarded and replaced by the current granite base after the monument was moved from Herald Square, included a drinking fountain that commemorated Dodge’s commitment to temperance. The statue was renovated as part of an overall restoration of the park by the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, completed in 1992.” (nycgovparks.org)
In the 1930s, the sculpture was restored with federal funding under Karl Gruppe, “chief sculptor of the Monument Restoration Project of the New York City Parks Department, from 1934 to 1937.” The program was initially supported by federal funding from the Public Works of Art Project (Lowrey, 2008), and later by the WPA.
NYC Parks - William Earl Dodge Parks Monuments Conservation Crew Vintage Film, NYC Parks Site Lowrey, Carol. 2008. A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club. NYC Parks - Cooper Triangle Department of Parks, Press Release, January 27, 1941
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on March 12, 2016.
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