Portrait Gallery

The Washington Herald, Sunday Morning Jan. 8, 1922.

Statue of Jeanne d'Arc
Unveiled in Hillside Park

Equestrian Work,
Gift of Femmes de France,
Stands Near Dante Monument


Meridian Hill Park, so recently signalized by the erection of the new Dante Monument, was the scene Friday afternoon of another important unveiling ceremony, at which the President and his excellency the Ambassador of France were guests of honor. An equestrian statue of Jeanne d'Arc, erected at the center of the Grand Terrace, opposite 2400 Sixteenth street northwest, was dedicated on this the 510th anniversary of the birth of the Maid of Orleans, in the village of Domremy, France, in 1412.

The beautiful new Jeanne d'Arc monument is a gift to the National Capital from the Society des Femmes de France of New York, offered through their President Fondatrice, Madame Carlo Polifeme, to the Commission of Fine Arts five years ago.

“The Lyceum, Society de Femmes de France of New York.” wrote Madame Polifeme, in May, 1914. “In a spirit of patriotism, nurtured by exile, inspired with a deep sense of the friendship that binds our two sister Republics, animated by a sympathy born of closer and closer relations. intends to perpetuate these sentiments by erecting in their new home a monument to Jeanne d'Arc, emblem of patriotism, emblem of love and peace. The statue of our French heroine will be built to the glory of womanhood, dedicated by the women of France in New York, to the women of America, and offered to the city of Washington.”

War Delayed Project.

During the war, however, the project was delayed, though the late Senator Gallinger and Representaive Hulbert introduced resolutions in congress, authorizing the erection on public grounds in the city of Washington of a memorial to Jeanne D'Arc. More recently Senator Brandegee in the Senate and Representatives Pell and Mills in the House, obtained the necessary permission by resolution passed by the Senate on August 12, 1821, authorizing the Chief of Engineers of the United States Army to grant the Society des Femmes de France of New York “permission to erect on public grounds of the United States in the city of Washington, District of Columbia, other than those of the Capitol, the Library of Congress and the White House, a copy of the statue of Jeanne d'Arc by Paul Dubose: Provided, that the cite chosen and the design of the pedistal shall be approved by the National Commission of the Fine Arts, and that the United States shall be put to no expense in or by the erection of the said memorial.”

“The work is regarded by artists as the finest equestrian statue of modern times.” So the Commission of Fine Arts informs us. Paul Dubois is a leading French sculptor. This monument is a replica of the celebrated statue of Jeanne d'Arc in front of Rheims Cathedral in France, which it was believed miraculously preserved the cathedral from destruction during the bombardment of the late war. Our new statue was prepared under the direction of the French Minister of Education and Fine Arts, in Paris. It measures about nine feet in height and ten feet in length, and is supported by a pedestal of about six feet in height, designed by McKim, Mead and White, architects of New York City. The statue was set in place under the supervision of Lieut. Col. C. O. Sherrill, officer in charge of public buildings and grounds.