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Statue of Lewis Cass facts for kids

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Lewis Cass
Flickr - USCapitol - Lewis Cass Statue (cropped).jpg
Artist Daniel Chester French
Year 1889 (1889)
Medium Marble sculpture
Subject Lewis Cass
Location Washington, D.C., United States

Lewis Cass is an 1889 marble sculpture by Daniel Chester French of the soldier, diplomat and politician that the state of Michigan donated as their first statue to the National Statuary Hall Collection in Washington, D.C., United States.

Description and history

French received the commission and decided to make the statue in Paris. He dressed his figure, a "biography in stone", of the rather portly Cass in the swallow tailed coat popular in that time, and depicted him standing solidly with his weight evenly distributed on both legs. This stance was criticized in Paris as being an out-dated way to portray a subject, but French was more interested in the "benediction of approval" he received from American artist George Peter Alexander Healy, who had been both a friend and the painter of a portrait of Cass.

When French was finished producing his clay statue he had it carved in marble in Paris, a task that would take a year, before executing the final touches himself and then having the finished work shipped to the United States. There it was unveiled in the Capitol on February 18, 1889. At this event Michigan Senator Thomas Witherell Palmer said of Cass that he knew of "no public man who has filled so many places in the economy of life-teacher, explorer, negotiator of treaties, governor, pioneer, lawyer, legislator, marshal, soldier, diplomat Secretary of War, Senator, Secretary of State".

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