Being the largest city in the state of Wisconsin, it comes as no surprise that Milwaukee is home to a wide variety of public art. An important subset of this art has been erected in commemoration of historical figures and events. If you happen to be a history buff or simply just want to see some of Milwaukee’s best commemorative art, then you might enjoy viewing some of the city’s most notable statues which have been sculpted in the likeness of historical figures. A few of the more popular statues have been listed below to help get you started on your public art viewing tour.
Abraham Lincoln by Gaetano Cecere
Sculpted in 1934 by American artist Gaetano Cecere, this bronze statue commemorates the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Standing 10’6” tall, the statue depicts a young and beardless Lincoln in contrast to the more often seen bearded image that later became his trademark. The statue stands atop a red granite pedestal on the Lincoln Memorial Drive bridge.
General Douglas MacArthur by Robert L. Dean
Originally built in 1977, this sculpture by American artist Robert L. Dean was later dedicated in 1979 for the 80th anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur’s entering of the United States Military Academy at West Point. The bronze statue, which stands on a marble base, is 9’6” tall and honors the general for his leadership during World War II. It can be found at MacArthur Square in the Milwaukee Civic Center Plaza.
George Washington by Richard Henry Park
Also known as the Washington Monument, George Washington is a 10’6” bronze statue that stands atop a tall granite pedestal. It was sculpted by American artist Richard Henry Park in 1885. At the base of the pedestal are two additional statues - one of a woman pointing toward the monument and a second of a child whose gaze looks upward at the first president of the United States. It was Milwaukee’s first civic statue and can be found on the Court of Honor located near Marquette University.
Milwaukee is a city filled with many wonderful examples of public art, many of which commemorate historical figures. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what to look for or where to start searching, you may never see some of these impressive works of art. Hopefully this list will help point you in the right direction so that you can visit some of the city’s best commemorative art.
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