Lot 18
  • 18

Henry Merwin Shrady 1871-1922

40,000 - 60,000 USD
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  • Henry Merwin Shrady
  • George Washington at Valley Forge
  • inscribed H.M. Shrady and Roman Bronze Works N-Y-
  • bronze
  • height: 25 1/2 inches (64.8 cm)
  • Modeled in 1905; cast circa 1906.


Estate of Marshall Coyne, Washington, D.C.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1999


Thayer Tolles, ed., American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born between 1865 and 1885, New Haven, Connecticut, 2001, vol. II, pp. 547-48, illustration of another example

Catalogue Note

The present work is cast from the maquette Henry Merwin Shrady created in preparation for his 1906 monument, George Washington at Valley Forge. Shrady submitted the maquette as part of a competition organized by James R. Howe, the Register of the Kings County (New York) Committee of Supervision and Construction, to design a statue of George Washington for the Brooklyn Plaza of the Williamsburg Bridge (now Continental Army Plaza). For his proposal, Shrady chose to depict Washington as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during a discouraging period of the Revolutionary War, the punishing winter of 1777-78. Elegantly seated atop his horse, Washington exudes a sense of contemplation and composure in the midst of extraordinary hardship. Shrady ultimately won the competition, earning the first major commission of his career.

Shrady garnered significant praise for the sculpture, and was commissioned to make an exact replica for Kansas City, Missouri's Washington Square Park in 1925. Shrady's contemporary Augustus Saint-Gaudens was equally impressed with Shrady's endeavor: "I congratulate you on the lines, sentiment and character of the group," he wrote in 1906, "it is admirable from every point of view" (quoted in Thayer Tolles ed., American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born between 1865 and 1885, New York, 2001, vol. II, p. 547). Additional casts of George Washington at Valley Forge are included in the collections of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Henry M. Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.