Boston Art Commission

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  • 59-BAC 1X1-General Joseph Hooker
  • 59. General Joseph Hooker - 1
  • 59. General Joseph Hooker - 2

General Joseph Hooker

Artist:

Daniel Chester French

Location:

Massachusetts State House, at east wing entrance on Beacon St.  

Location

Massachusetts State House, at east wing entrance on Beacon St.
United States
42° 21' 28.656" N, 71° 3' 47.232" W

Neighborhood:

Beacon Hill

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1903

Medium:

Bronze and red granite

Collection:

Massachusetts State House

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

A native of Hadley, MA, General “Fighting Joe” Hooker served in the Mexican-American War and commanded the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War. He obtained the post in 1863, after boldly writing to President Lincoln to complain about the incompetence of the military and to request a new commission. Hooker established himself as a dedicated and aggressive leader, as well as a capable administrator, and was deeply respected by his soldiers. After suffering a devastating defeat at the Battle of Chancellorsville against General Robert E. Lee, Hooker transferred to a new post and contributed to General Ulysses S. Grant’s victory at the Battle of Chattanooga. Sculptors Daniel Chester French and Edward C. Potter have depicted Hooker in a traditionally heroic manner that allows viewers to literally look up the general in order to appreciate his role as a notable military leader. French created the figure of Hooker while Potter modeled the horse. This might explain why Hooker appears slightly stiff or even off-balance atop the horse. During his long career, French became one of the most important American sculptors of his era. Nearly all Americans are familiar with at
least one of his works: the towering statue of President Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial.

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