Thursday, February 16, 2012

Abraham Lincoln by Thomas Ball

Park Square / Charles and Stuart Streets Thomas Ball (1819-1911), Sculptor Bronze / Stone

Freedom, release, and liberty are honored by this Thomas Ball monument.

“A duplicate casting of Thomas Ball’s Emancipation Group (originally executed for the Freedman’s Memorial Society in Washing- ton) was given to the city of Boston in 1877 by Moses Kimball and put up in Park Square.”(38 Whitehall).

The original version of this work stands in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C.

The Great Emancipator freeing a male African-American slave modeled on Archer Alexander. The ex-slave is depicted crouching shirtless and shackled at the president’s feet.

The monument has long been the sub- ject of controversy. Despite being paid for by African-Americans because of the supplicant and inferior position of the black figure, histo- rian Kirk Savage in 1997 condemned it as “a monument entrenched in, and perpetuating, racist ideology.”