J. Otto Schweizer

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All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors (1934), Logan Square, Philadelphia, PA.

Jakob Otto Schweizer (March 27, 1863, Zurich - 1955) was a Swiss-American sculptor noted for his work on war memorials.


Born in Zurich, Switzerland, he enrolled in that city's Industrial Art School in 1879. In 1882, he entered the Royal Academy of Art in Dresden, Germany, and lived in Florence, Italy, 1889-94. He arrived in New York City in 1894, and settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the following year.[1]

He was a member of Philadelphia's German Society of Pennsylvania, and through its connections he obtained his first major commission, a bronze statue of General John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1910–11). He was also a Freemason.[2]

He created 7 sculptures for the Gettysburg Battlefield, more than any other artist. Among these was a larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln for the Pennsylvania State Memorial. He modeled another Lincoln statue for the Memorial Room at the Union League of Philadelphia, and flanked it with 8 portrait reliefs of Union officers.[3] His only equestrian statue, Baron von Steuben (1921), is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He modeled dozens of busts, bas-reliefs and medalions,[4] and exhibited at the 1916 continuation of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California.[5]

His All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors (1934), originally placed in Fairmount Park, is now in Philadelphia's Logan Square.

Schweizer died in 1955, at the age of 92.

Selected works[edit]

Gettysburg Battlefield[edit]

Union League of Philadelphia[edit]

U.S. Air Force officers posing in the Memorial Room, Union League of Philadelphia.



  • Ernst Jockers, J. Otto Schweizer: The Man and His Work, (Philadelphia: International Printing Company, 1953).
  1. ^ National Park Service biography from Valley Forge National Historical Park.
  2. ^ Famous Masons (under sculptors)
  3. ^ "John [sic] Otto Schweizer 1863-1955," in Maxwell Whiteman, Paintings and Sculpture at The Union League of Philadelphia (The Union League of Philadelphia, 1978), p. 115.
  4. ^ 1917 Alexander the Great medalion
  5. ^ Illustrated Catalogue
  6. ^ Civil War Monument
  7. ^ Peter Muhlenberg from Philadelphia Public Art.
  8. ^ Rudolf Cronau, German Achievements in America (New York, 1916).
  9. ^ Joseph Johns from Flickr.
  10. ^ Confederate Women from waymarking.com
  11. ^ Molly Pitcher Monument from Flickr.
  12. ^ President Garfield from Flickr.
  13. ^ Senator Oliver from Flickr.
  14. ^ Equestrian statue from photographersdirect.com
  15. ^ model of American Eagle from ArtNet.
  16. ^ Lily Pond Railing from geocaching.com
  17. ^ All Wars Memorial from Philadelphia Public Art.
  18. ^ The Last Supper
  19. ^ [1]

External links[edit]