Soldiers’ Memorial Building Sculptures – St. Louis MO


Four striking limestone sculptures were created by Walker Hancock as part of a Federal Art Project Commission. The work, “Courage, Vision, Sacrifice, Loyalty” was installed around the entrances to St. Louis’s historic Soldiers’ Memorial in 1939.
“Walker Hancock, a St. Louis native, created the beautiful statues that adorn both entrances to the Soldiers Memorial. Hancock attended Washington Universtiy, where he studied under Victor Holm. He was not the first choice to create the statues, but when the first artist could not fulfill the obligation, Hancock was next in line. The statues were created during the heart of the depression and a New Deal program, the Federal Art Project, provided funding. The program, which was a product of the Works Progress Administration provided jobs for out of work artists. Among its works were 17,744 statues and over 2,000 murals. Furthermore, it established community art centers. By 1936, there were 25 art centers spread throughout the country.

The four statues, identified as Courage, Loyalty, Sacrifice, and Vision, are so named for the qualities found in the soldiers and their families, sit at the entrances to the Soldiers Memorial building. Courage is in dedication to the soldiers’ courage that is shown when they paid the ultimate sacrifice. Loyalty is the statue with a man holding a sword straight down, to signify the steadfast loyalty of a soldier. Sacrifice shows a woman carrying an infant child, and is dedicated to the sacrifice that was paid by the mothers’ of fallen soldiers. The final statue, Vision, is dedicated to peace.”

Source notes

Originally posted in the New Deal Art Registry:

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Location Info

1315 Chestnut St
St. Louis, MO 63103

Coordinates: 38.628603, -90.200080

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