"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Self Sacrifice

This 1931 statue by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney stands at Fourth and P streets NW in Washington,  DC.
The sculpture was created as a memorial for those who died in the Titanic shipwreck. It was authorized by Congress on March 3, 1917 and was sponsored by the Women's Titanic Memorial Association. The sculpture was completed in 1929, but installation was delayed due to construction of a seawall near Rock Creek Parkway. The sculpture was originally erected along Rock Creek Parkway, near the New Hampshire Avenue intersection in May 1930, but was not dedicated until May 31, 1931. Later the statue and accompanying stone bench were stored briefly at Fort Washington, Maryland, in 1966, after removal for the construction of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The piece was reinstalled in September 1968 at its current site. John L. and William P. Meeker were responsible for the stone work on the piece. The Pringle Construction Company and architect Henry Bacon worked on the piece in its original site. The R. B. Phelps Stone Company worked on the piece in its current site. -- SIRIS
To the Brave Men
Who Perished
in the Wreck
of the Titanic
April 15 1912
They Gave Their
Lives that Women
and Children
Might be Saved

Erected by the
Women of America

Mrs. Whitney's original model for the statue was more emphatically male than the statue as realized.

Mrs. H. P. Whitney's "Titanic" between ca. 1915 and ca. 1920;a model figure for the Titanic Memorial in Washington, D.C. by sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney
To the Young and Old
The Rich and Poor
The Ignorant and the Learned
Who Gave Their Lives Nobly
To Save the Women and Children

 Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney 1931

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