Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • 22. General George Smith Patton, Jr. - 1
  • 22. General George Smith Patton, Jr. - 2
  • 22. General George Smith Patton, Jr. - 3

General George Smith Patton, Jr.

Artist:

James Earle Fraser

Location:

West of Longfellow Bridge  

Location

West of Longfellow Bridge
United States
42° 21' 26.6688" N, 71° 4' 26.3244" W

Neighborhood:

Back Bay

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1955

Medium:

Bronze

Collection:

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

This memorial honors a distinguished yet controversial military figure. During World War I, General Patton was assigned to the Tank Corps, as the US Army sought to harness the new technology of armored vehicles. He quickly became an expert on tanks, which he continued to study after the war’s end. When the US entered World War II, Patton commanded troops in North Africa and Sicily. Despite some setbacks in his career, including a reprimand for treating soldiers harshly, Patton was particularly successful as commander of the Third Army. Patton and his troops moved from France eastward, helping to avert German victory at the Battle of the Bulge and ultimately liberating the Buchenwald concentration camp on April 11, 1945.

Before creating this work, sculptor James Earle Fraser worked as an assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, who is well represented on this Art Walk. Fraser has depicted Patton as a sharp and intrepid leader, strategizing as he surveys the battlefield. Patton’s heroism is shown not through a contrived pose, but through the figure’s evident dedication to his military duties.

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