Category Archives: Monuments and Statues

Whispering to Yoko Ono

I’m a sucker for outdoor sculptures. Indeed, I’d rather be outside than inside so Washington is a great town for tour guiding since most monuments, memorials and statues are outdoors. In another life, I’d like to be a U.S. Park … Continue reading

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Boy Scout Memorial combines past and present

The Boy Scout represents the aspirations of all past, present, and future Scouts throughout the world. He carries a staff that has been taken from the male figure’s branch of peace. The scout wears the traditional uniform of the group … Continue reading

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Statue of Dr. Philip Jaisohn looks like the real thing

Many statues kinda, sorta, maybe look like the person. Given many of the subjects are long dead, it’s not always easy to know how striking the likeness may be. But outside the South Korean Embassy along Massachusetts Ave. is not … Continue reading

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Cuban Friendship Urn – we’re friends again

Now that the U.S. has restored relations with Cuba after a half century of the Cold War, the Cuban Friendship Urn reminds us of a time when we were friends. Actually, U.S.-Cuban relations are a little complicated. The USS Maine … Continue reading

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San Martin rides tall among Latin American memorials

  When researching the story of Gen. Jose de San Martin, it sounded so much like the nearby statue of Gen. Simon Bolivar that I had to double check I was looking at the latter. No wonder their statues are … Continue reading

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The Chilean poet who became his own pen name

Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto wasn’t the first writer to use a pen name. But, not many make it their legal name. The Chilean poet who became a diplomat and politician named himself after Czech poet Jan Neruda in becoming Pablo … Continue reading

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Russian markers in Rock Creek Cemetery

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The Maine Lobsterman along the waterfront

There are no lobsters in Washington aside the ones in restaurants. Plenty of crabs from nearby Maryland, but the seven-foot statue on Sixth and Water Sts. SW along the waterfront shows a Maine waterman “pegging” lobsters by tying their claws. … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: DuPont Circle art

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Gold thieves — beware the griffins

Plenty of treasure hunters come to Washington looking for riches, but the guardians are always there to protect our gold. Two Acacia Griffins protect the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Building at 51 Louisiana Ave. N.W. in the shadow of the … Continue reading

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Handscaping U.S. Capitol grounds was visionary

Give Frederick Law Olmsted credit — he didn’t miss a thing. When landscaping the U.S. Capitol grounds in 1874, Olmstead wanted to create things that were both aesthetic and functional. The walls were low so the public could see over … Continue reading

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Wordless Wednesday: Cavalry comes to Grant’s rescue

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Plenty of grief has come from Adams Memorial

This is a story that can feel personal. Of death and despair. Mark Twain and mistakes. When you find the statue made by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the middle of Section E of Rock Creek Cemetery, hidden within a tall square … Continue reading

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The general of them all – Alexander Macomb

It’s not often you’ll see a monument with Greek, Roman and Egyptian markings, but Gen. Alexander Macomb’s 14-foot marker at Congressional Cemetery has them all. The general is surrounded by four lions paws. A sword for his military career, cross … Continue reading

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The other Taft – Robert A. Taft Memorial

Everyone knows my distant cousin William Howard Taft, the 26th U.S. president and the fattest person to ever serve in the White House. Figure I’d inherit that bloodline. But few remember his son Robert A. Taft whose accomplishments earned an … Continue reading

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Sky Landscape is for the 99 percenters

For everyone who was told they’re not good enough, those who spent years trying to make it, that sacrificed everything for their dream — Sky Landscape is for you. Louise Nevelson struggled for many years after arriving from Kiev, Russia. … Continue reading

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Thomas T. Gaff isn’t so scary after all

From the street it looks like a member of the Walking Dead has emerged in Rock Creek Cemetery. Walking up the steep incline makes the grave marker a little less scary and a little more impressive. What once looked like … Continue reading

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The Hiker welcomes you to Arlington National

The memorials start long before entering the gates of Arlington National Cemetery. Just after leaving the Memorial Bridge is “The Hiker.” World War II soldiers were called G.I. Joes and World War I predecessors were Doughboys. The Spanish-American War fighters … Continue reading

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Figure for Landscape makes you figure it out

This is not a Henry Moore piece despite being next to two of the British sculptor’s works on 7th and Jefferson N.W. But, it’s the next closest thing as fellow Brit Barbara Hepworth’s “Figure for Landscape” follows Moore’s 20th century … Continue reading

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JFK bust just one example of Berks’ excellence

My favorite sculptor around town is Robert Berks, which saddens to think we never met before he died in 2011. But, as they say, his work lives on. My favorite Berks’ work among 17 in the Washington area is his … Continue reading

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