The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French
Princeton Architectural Press 2019
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in ArchitectureNew Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in BiographyNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network April 19, 2019 Ian J. Drake
Harold Holzer has written a biography of one of America’s greatest public artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, Daniel Chester French. In Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French (Princeton Architectural Press, 2019), Holzer chronicles the career of French, who became best known for his sculpture of Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. French was born in 1850 and became one of the most sought after sculptors of portraits and thematic sculptures in America. Holzer reveals French’s methods of creation and execution of his sculptural commissions, which included many notable works before the famous Lincoln Memorial. Yet, the Lincoln Memorial and its place in the American imagination are a central feature of this book. Holzer reveals how the statue had different political meanings to different audiences from the moment of it dedication.
Ian J. Drake is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. His scholarly interests include American legal and constitutional history and political theory.