Monument Man (Hardcover)

The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French

By Harold Holzer

Princeton Architectural Press, 9781616897536, 368pp.

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

List Price: 35.00*
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Description

"It is a thing as rare as it is welcome—an authoritative book about a visual artist that is both well written and jargon free, and that seamlessly addresses a professional audience as well as the general reader."—The Wall Street Journal

The definitive biography of Daniel Chester French, the artist who created the statue for the Lincoln Memorial, John Harvard in Harvard Yard, and The Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts. Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) is America's best-known sculptor of public monuments. Harold Holzer's authoritative biography combines rich personal details from French's life with a nuanced study of his artistic evolution and beautiful archival photographs of his life and work.

A fascinating life story written for readers interested in American art, sculpture, and history. Comprehensively researched and written in a lively, engaging manner, readers will be captivated by French's life work and story. His diligent dedication to perfecting his craft over many decades of hard work is an inspiring story of artistic evolution.

Written by an award-winning Abraham Lincoln scholar. A preeminent author of numerous books on Civil War-era art and history, Harold Holzer turns his eye to the development of an important American sculptor whose evolution ran parallel to, and deeply influenced, the development of American sculpture, iconography, and historical memory.
  • Includes a comprehensive geographical guide to more than one hundred Daniel Chester French sculptures and monuments throughout the United States
  • Specially commissioned by Chesterwood, the home and studio of Daniel Chester French, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation
"Magisterial.... Just as French was an apt sculptor for his famed subjects, we, as readers, are fortunate to have French's story told to us by Harold Holzer."—Concord Journal


About the Author

Harold Holzer, winner of the 2015 Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize, is a Lincoln scholar and the author of numerous books on Civil War–era art and history. He currently serves as the director of the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, City University of New York. In 2008 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal.


Praise For Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French

"[Monument Man] is a wonderful book, both an important chronicle of the moment when American sculpture reached its first maturity and a biography that brings the man, his art, and and his time vividly to life."
- The New Criterion

It's a conundrum: the most instantly recognizable sculpture by an American - the colossal marble "Abraham Lincoln" reigning over the Lincoln Memorial in Washington - was created by an artist few people can name. Harold Holzer's Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French aims to correct this art history deficit....As Holzer says, speaking of French's crowning masterpiece, the sculpture of Lincoln, "The artist, the subject, and the hour had met." The same might be said of Holzer....[His] scholarship is impeccable.
- The Christian Science Monitor

"From French's New England upbringing to his death at his beloved Chesterwood estate and studio...Holzer leaves no stone unturned."
- SavingPlaces.org

"[M]agisterial....Just as French was an apt scupltor for his famed subjects, we, as readers, are fortunate to have French's story told to us by Harold Holzer."
- Concord (Mass.) Journal

"Until now no one has offered the extensive research and analysis on the prolific sculptor that Holzer does in Monument Man..A phenomenal book.."
- ALA/Choice Magazine

"This book will surely rank as the authoritative life od a man whose creations in stone and bronze have become inseparable parts of our historical emeory," - Ron Chernow

"This beautifully written, impeccably researched biography does much to resuscitate French's substantial contributions to American art."
- Kirkus Reviews

"Monument Man puts French's life in context and shows how he grew from an indifferent student to a world-renowned artist before his death in 1931."
- The Objective Standard

"It is a thing as rare as it is welcome-an authoritative book about a visual artist that is both well written and jargon free, and that seamlessly addresses a professional audience as well as the general reader. Just such a book is what the historian Harold Holzer has given us in "Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French."
- John Wilmerding, Wall Street Journal