Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • 85-BAC 1X1-Samuel Adams
  • 85-Samuel_Adams
  • Samuel Adams, Whitney (1)
  • Samuel Adams, Whitney (2)

Samuel Adams

Artist:

Anne Whitney

Location:

Faneuil Hall Plaza, at Congress St. and North St.  

Location

Faneuil Hall Plaza, at Congress St. and North St.
United States
42° 21' 35.9316" N, 71° 3' 24.084" W

Neighborhood:

Downtown

Type:

Sculpture

Year:

1880

Medium:

Bronze and Granite

Collection:

City of Boston

Funders:

Unknown

Description:

This bronze sculpture is based on an earlier marble version, which Anne Whitney created for the Capitol building in Washington, DC. The City of Boston then requested a replica to be placed in front of Faneuil Hall, where Adams participated in town meetings to discuss British taxation and occupation. Despite the success of this commission, Whitney was barred from sculpting another male figure only a few years later (see Charles Sumner).

Here, Whitney has depicted Adams with arms crossed in a gesture of defiance, evoking his attitude toward British governance. Adams began his political career as a tax collector and a vocal critic of unfair taxation on the colonies. Along with John Hancock, he founded the Sons of Liberty to protest the Stamp Act and later served as a delegate to the Continental Congresses. After the Revolution, Adams remained firmly opposed to strong centralized government, even in the new nation he helped to establish.

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