An Encouraging Site

Shaw 54thI recently accompanied a group of students to Washington, D.C. to take part in a mock Congress.  With a few hours to kill I decided to take a stroll through the National Gallery of Art.  Included in the collection is a reproduction of the Shaw Memorial, which is located on Beacon Street here in Boston.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a group of students sitting with a museum teacher, who did a wonderful job of interpreting the monument and engaging the group.  The kids talked about the history of Shaw and the 54th as well as the rich symbolism contained in Saint-Gaudens’s relief.  At one point she asked the kids to share sounds that might be heard in such a scene.  It made my day.

2 comments… add one
  • Debmeister Feb 19, 2013 @ 5:24

    I work at the National Gallery. The Shaw Memorial is very popular, especially with school groups. Our version of the Shaw Memorial is actually a plaster cast of the piece which was made for traveling purposes. For many years, it had been on display at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site at Cornish, New Hampshire. It was loaned to the National Gallery and underwent needed conservation treatment. I assisted in research pertaining to the restoration.

    In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the assault on Fort Wagner, the National Gallery will host an exhibition entitled TELL IT WITH PRIDE: THE 54TH MASSACHUSETTS REGIMENT AND AUGUSTUS SAINT-GAUDENS’ SHAW MEMORIAL. The exhibition opens on 09/15/2013.

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