George Washington

Mounted rigidly atop a powerful horse striding forward, George Washington is shown attired in full military dress, with tricorn hat held in the crook of his left arm and sword raised high above his head in his right hand. The horse and rider, raised high above our heads on a large pedestal, face south in the direction of Washington Park from an island on Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Photo ©: Jyoti Srivastava


George Washington


1900 (Replica of original in Paris, installed 1904)


Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) / Edward C. Potter (1857-1923)


Washington Park


Daniel Chester French’s equestrian sculpture located on King Drive outside Washington Park has its origins in a work commissioned earlier by the Daughters of the Revolution. The original version was placed in Paris as a gift from the women of the United States in "memory of the brotherly help given by France to their fathers in the fight for Independence”. Washington is portrayed in full military dress atop a horse sculpted by Edward Clark Potter, who specialized in animals and equestrian portrayals, most often done in collaboration with artists like French who provided the human figures. In creating the human figure, French resisted insistence from the sponsoring clients that Washington be portrayed dressed in medieval chain mail. A visit to French’s East Coast studio by Chicago art patron Charles L. Hutchinson led to a discussion among wealthy Chicagoans about funding a duplicate for the city – noting that Washington Park had no sculptural memorial in George Washington’s honor. The original Paris version was dedicated in 1900, and Chicago’s duplicate in 1904. The monument is one of the finest examples of equestrian sculpture in Chicago, and is considered a major work by Daniel Chester French, whose later work included the marble sculpture of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C.