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Lafayette on Horseback: The Short History of a Once Loved, Long-Forgotten Monument
March 25, 2020 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am
In October of 2017, dignitaries and the public assembled in Versailles, France to witness the re-dedication of two monumental bronze sculptures: one of Pershing and one of Lafayette, which had been commissioned, but never completed, in the aftermath of World War I. What the contemporary celebrants seemed to not know is that Paul Wayland Bartlett’s monument to Lafayette was originally conceived as a gift to the French people, many years before the Great War appeared on the horizon. This presentation is a short history of a monument once greatly loved, and then long-forgotten. Although the design of Lafayette keeps re-appearing over the course of the past 125 years, no one has traced the connecting history of the monument, nor of the artist, Paul Wayland Bartlett, at the center of it all. This is a art historical story being put together piece by piece by researcher and writer Laura A. Macaluso.