American sculptor Cyrus Dallin (1861 – 1944) unveiled his masterpiece, “Appeal to the Great Spirit,” in Paris in 1909—where it won the gold medal at that year’s Paris Salon. It became popular immediately—especially in America—and the image has been used everywhere from advertising to album covers. Smaller copies of the work have been made and installed across the country. One version is part of the White House’s permanent collection and was used to decorate President Clinton’s Oval Office.
The artist, who was also an Olympic archer, studied and worked nationwide and in Europe. He was a colleague of American sculptor Augustus Saint Gaudens in Boston and a close friend of American painter John Singer Sargent.
On this day in 1912, the original—now back from Paris—was permanently installed in the courtyard before Boston’s Museum of Fine Art where it stands to this day.
The cast iron bookends, pictured above, bear tribute to Dallin’s iconic artwork. Click on the photo to learn more about the bookends.
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