Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number PALM 00020
Collection Public Works
Date 1901
Artist Ezekiel, Moses
Artist Role Sculptor
Title Thomas Jefferson
Description The Thomas Jefferson Monument, located directly in front of the steps of the historic entrance to Metro Hall at 601 West Jefferson Street, depicts a full-length bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson holding the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson stands atop a replica of the Liberty Bell before it was cracked. Four winged allegorical female figures are placed around the bell: Liberty appears directly beneath Jefferson and is identifiable by her Phrygian cap. Justice, blindfolded and holding a sword and scales, is located behind Jefferson. A figure variously identified as Equality or Brotherhood of Man appears on Jefferson's right while Religious Freedom is to his left. The monument was presented to the Board of Park Commissioners by Isaac and Bernard Bernheim in 1899 and was unveiled in 1901. Another cast of this monument is located on the campus of the University of Virginia

Sculptor Sir Moses Ezekiel (1844-1917) was born in Richmond, Virginia. He was the first Jewish cadet to attend the Virginia Military Institute and served with the Confederate Army during the Civil War, participating with the rest of the cadet corps in the Battle of New Market. Artistically inclined even as a child, Ezekiel studied sculpture, first in Cincinnati, then in Berlin, where he was the first non—German to win the Michel Beer Prix de Rome in 1873. He moved to Rome in 1879 and made it his permanent home, residing there for almost two decades. His studio in the Baths of Diocletian became a gathering place for the expatriate community, and was visited by Giuseppe Garibaldi, Franz Liszt, Emperor William II and by Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, and William Howard Taft. Ezekiel was a highly regarded artist in his day and received honorary titles from three European countries. (KG)
Provenance Presented to the Board of Park Commissioners by Isaac and Bernard Bernheim in 1899, unveiled in 1901.
Dimensions H-18.667 W-8.667 feet
Material Bronze
Medium Metal
Technique Cast
Location Metro Hall, 527 West Jefferson Street