Statue of George Washington
Portland, OR - George Washington statue outside German-American Society 01 (cropped).jpg
The statue in 2015
ArtistPompeo Coppini
Year1926–1927 (1926–1927)
Medium
SubjectGeorge Washington
Dimensions2.4 m × 1.2 m × 1.2 m (8 ft × 4 ft × 4 ft)
LocationPortland, Oregon, United States
Coordinates45°32′32″N 122°36′18″W / 45.542235°N 122.605054°W / 45.542235; -122.605054Coordinates: 45°32′32″N 122°36′18″W / 45.542235°N 122.605054°W / 45.542235; -122.605054
OwnerCity of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council

A 1926–27 statue of George Washington by Italian American artist Pompeo Coppini, sometimes called George Washington, was installed in northeast Portland, Oregon, United States.[1] The bronze sculpture was the second of three statues of Washington by the artist,[2] following a similar statue installed in Mexico City in 1912 and preceding another installed on the University of Texas at Austin campus in February 1955. The Portland statue was created to commemorate the 1926 sesquicentennial of the Declaration of Independence and dedicated in 1927. It was part of the City of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council. In June 2020, it was toppled by protestors.[3][4][5]

Description

The statue was installed at the intersection of Northeast 57th Avenue and Northeast Sandy Boulevard, outside the German American Society (or Friendship Masonic Building), in northeast Portland's Rose City Park neighborhood. It depicted a standing Washington with a cane in his proper right hand and a coat and hat under his opposite arm, with his proper left hand on his hip.[1] The bronze sculpture measured approximately 95 x 48 x 48 in., and rested on a granite base measuring approximately 95 x 84 x 84 in. An inscription on the front of the plinth read: "GEORGE WASHINGTON / PRESENTED TO / THE CITY OF PORTLAND / BY / HENRY WALDO COE / 1927".[1] The back of the plinth had the inscription "GIFT FROM DR. HENRY WALDO COE 1926", and inscriptions on the side of the plinth read "P. COPPINI SC" and "CAST BY ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y.".[1]

History

Creation and dedication

The Portland statue was created by Coppini in his New York studio in 1926,[6] and cast by Roman Bronze Works.[1] It was donated by Henry Waldo Coe, who commissioned a series of statues for the City of Portland which included Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider (1922), the equestrian statue of Joan of Arc, and those depicting Washington and Abraham Lincoln (1928). The latter two were dedicated after Coe's death in February 1927.[7] The memorial's base was funded by the George Washington Memorial Association.[1]

The memorial was dedicated on July 4, 1927. Reverend Youngson presented the statue on the Coe family's behalf.[1]

Subsequent history and destruction

The statue outside the German American Society, 2015
The statue outside the German American Society, 2015

The artwork was surveyed by the Smithsonian Institution's "Save Outdoor Sculpture!" program in 1993.[1] It is part of the City of Portland and Multnomah County Public Art Collection courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.[8] In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a face mask was affixed to the statue as well as other local artworks.[9]

On the night of June 18, 2020, violent protesters set the statue aflame before toppling it and defacing the remains with "Genocidal Colonist," "You're on native lands," "BLM," "Big Floyd," and "1619."[3][4][5] On July 28, the Mayor of Sandy, Oregon, Stan Pulliam, proposed to have the Washington statue, the statue of Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider put back up on their property.[10]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "George Washington, (sculpture)". Smithsonian Institution. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved November 8, 2014.
  2. ^ A Marmac Guide to San Antonio. Pelican Publishing. p. 204. ISBN 9781455608546. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Ryan, Jim (2020-06-19). "George Washington statue toppled during 22nd consecutive day of Portland protests". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on 2021-10-25. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  4. ^ a b KATU Staff (2020-06-19). "George Washington statue in Portland toppled, protests continue". KATU. Archived from the original on 2020-06-19. Retrieved 2020-06-19.
  5. ^ a b David Williams. "Protesters tore down a George Washington statue and set a fire on its head". CNN. Archived from the original on 2020-08-05. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
  6. ^ Little, Carol Morris (January 1, 1996). A Comprehensive Guide to Outdoor Sculpture in Texas. University of Texas Press. p. 9. ISBN 9780292760363. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  7. ^ Engeman, Richard H. (September 1, 2009). The Oregon Companion: An Historical Gazetteer of the Useful, the Curious, and the Arcane. Timber Press. p. 90. ISBN 9781604691474. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  8. ^ "George Washington, 1926". cultureNOW. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  9. ^ Meagher, Sean (April 13, 2020). "PHOTOS: Portlanders find creative ways to put masks on statues and other things across the city". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on April 26, 2020. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  10. ^ "Sandy mayor wants toppled Portland statues". KOIN 6. LakeOswegoReview. Archived from the original on 13 September 2021. Retrieved 5 August 2021.