French Sculpture Census

photo credit : ph Wikimedia Commons, Kenneth C. Zirkel
artist © : public domain

BARTHOLDI, Frédéric-Auguste
Colmar, Haut-Rhin 1834 - Paris 1904

Maker: Gorham Company, Providence, Rhode Island

Christophe Colomb
Columbus

1893
bronze

statue
signed left side of base: Bartholdi 1893
on right side of base: GORHAM [...] CO. FOUNDER

Providence, Rhode Island, Columbus Square

Provenance

  • 1893, Donated by the Christopher Columbus Committee
  • 1893, 8 November, dedication ceremony

Bibliography

  • Signalé par Matthieu Chambrion, Conservateur du patrimoine - chercheur, Direction de l'Inventaire du Patrimoine, Région Centre, février 2015

Related Works

It is a copy of the silver statue made for the Columbian Exposition in 1893 in Chicago.

Comment



From http://sos.ri.gov/virtualarchives/items/show/420, 18 February 2015:
Cast in 1893, the statue of Columbus that stands on Elmwood Avenue was produced by the Gorham Manufacturing Company who commissioned master sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi. The bronze cast statue is a cast of the original sterling silver statue commissioned for the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. For the upcoming exposition, Gorham wanted a demonstration piece to show the skill of its foundry and commissioned Bartholdi to create a statue of Columbus. The completed model was shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to be cast from 30,000 ounces of silver at Providence, Rhode Island. The casting was a ceremonial affair, where guests "were feted as they watched the process". Gorham officials accompanied and shipped the statue to Chicago via rail. It served as a demonstration piece at the exposition, showcasing the skill of its foundry in a technically difficult to execute sterling silver cast that was also the work of a well-known sculptor. After the exposition, the statue was returned to Providence where it was melted down, the sterling silver statue was impractical as a permanent outdoor sculpture and the piece had already served its celebratory and advertisement purpose.
In 1893, a bronze Columbus was cast by the Gorham company and gifted to the City of Providence by the Elmwood Association, a civic group from a neighborhood near Gorham. It is known that Bartholdi visited Newport, Rhode Island in 1893, but it is unknown if he was involved in the production of the bronze cast. The statue was dedicated on November 8, 1893. According to New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Professor Alonzo Williams was the orator for the dedication of the statue. The site of the statue was originally deeded to the Town of Cranston by Joseph Cooke on May 24, 1824. The Town of Cranston deeded it to Providence in 1868 and renamed it Columbus Park in 1893.