Boston Art Commission

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  • 23-BAC 1X1-General Charles Devens
  • 23. General Charles Devens - 1
  • 23. General Charles Devens - 2

General Charles Devens

Artist:

Olin Levi Warner

Location:

Charles River Esplanade, along Hatch Shell Circle  

Location

Charles River Esplanade, along Hatch Shell Circle
United States
42° 21' 27.99" N, 71° 4' 23.5812" W

Neighborhood:

Back Bay

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1893 / 1894 / 1896

Medium:

Bronze

Collection:

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

A neighboring statue features another, earlier military leader. Born in Charlestown, MA, in 1820, General Devens was a lawyer and statesman who interrupted his political career to fight in the Civil War. During the war, he fought in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorville, and Cold Harbor, among others, earning the rank of major general. Following his military service, Devens sat on the bench of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and he served as Attorney General under President Hayes. This statue by Olin Levi Warner (sculptor of William Lloyd Garrison) was located at the State House until 1950. Devens wears his Union Army uniform, complete with a tasseled sash that identifies his rank. A comparison of this work with the preceding statue of General Patton shows a dramatic change in military dress and gear over a period of about sixty years. The dominant style of commemorative sculpture shifted as well, with Fraser’s figure looking less idealized and more real.

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