Yesterday I took the bus down to Washington, DC to give a guest lecture in Jennifer van Horn’s summer class, “Art and Myth of the Old South,” co-sponsored by George Mason University and the Smithsonian Institution. As I was walking from Union Station to the Ripley Center, I decided to take a small detour to visit my favorite equestrian monument of all time, the statue of Ulysses S. Grant sculpted by Henry Merwin Shrady as part of the 1922 memorial placed in front of the U.S. Capitol. But when I got there, I found the monument completely shrouded in scaffolding!
It seems that the Architect of the Capitol has undertaken conservation efforts to restore the appearance of the entire memorial, which has fallen into disrepair in recent decades due to exposure to the elements and acts of vandalism. I am so glad to know this is happening, as I’ve been thinking for years that this wonderful work of memorial sculpture is in sore need of attention.
For more information on the conservation efforts, go to http://www.aoc.gov/grant.