Serenity (Clara)

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Serenity
Serenity statue - Washington, D.C..jpg
Artist Jose Clara
Year 1925 (1925)
Type Marble
Dimensions 200 cm × 160 cm (79 in × 64 in)
Location Washington, D.C., United States
Coordinates 38°55′19″N 77°2′10″W / 38.92194°N 77.03611°W / 38.92194; -77.03611
Owner National Park Service

Serenity is a public artwork by Spanish[1] artist Josep Clarà, located at Meridian Hill Park in Washington, D.C., United States. "Serenity" was originally surveyed as part of the Smithsonian's Save Outdoor Sculpture! survey in 1993.[2]

Description[edit]

This large sculpture is of an allegorical woman wearing long, flowing classical robes which are tied at her waist. She has long hair and stares intensely in front of her. "Serenity" sits on a rocky ledge with her arms casually resting on the rocks behind her. Her left foot rested on a broken sword.

The sculpture is signed on the proper left side: Jose Clara

The front of the base is inscribed:

SERENITY
IN REMEMBRANCE OF WILLIAM HENRY SCHEVTZE
LIEVTENANT COMMANDER VNITED STATES NAVY
MDCCCLIII-MCMII[2]

The name of William Henry Schuetze is misspelled on the monument.

Artist[edit]

Clara was a Spanish sculptor, born in Olot in 1878, who died in Barcelona in 1958. After studying fine art in Toulouse, he met Auguste Rodin during a visit to Paris which led to him deciding to become a sculptor. A student of Barrias Louse-Ernest, his primary model was Isadora Duncan until her death in 1927. With world-wide recognition, he worked and lived the rest of his life in Barcelona.[3]

Acquisition[edit]

"Serenity" was bought by Charles Deering at the Paris Exhibition of 1900 as a tribute to his friend and classmate from the U.S. Naval Academy - William Henry Scheutze (1853-1902).[2] The sculpture was dedicated on March 12, 1924.[4][5]

The sculpture is identical to the sculpture "Serenidad," which sits in Luxembourg and is by the same artist.[2]

Information[edit]

Scheutze was a naval officer from the academy who graduated in 1873 and went on to serve as a navigator on the U.S.S. Iowa during the Spanish American War. He was active in the U.S. Naval White Squadron in Chicago.[2] Before his death in 1927 he became president of the International Harvester Company.[4]

Condition[edit]

In 1960 the piece was reported as having a missing nose.[6] This sculpture was surveyed in 1993 for its condition and it was described as needing treatment.[2] By 2009, press reports indicate it was also missing her left hand and a big toe.[7]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Serenity (sculpture)". Artists. Artnet. 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Save Outdoor Sculptures! (1993). "Serenity (sculpture)". SOS!. Smithsonian. Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Josep Clara". Spanish Wikipedia. 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Points of Interest - North to South". Meridian Hill Park. National Park Service. 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  5. ^ Statue Is a Curious Homage to Naval Officer, Answer Man Finds, by John Kelly, Washington Post Sunday, March 22, 2009
  6. ^ Clark, Elizabeth G. "Report of the Chronicler" Records of the Columbia Historical Society, Washington, D.C. Vol. 60/62. p. 381.
  7. ^ Statue Is a Curious Homage to Naval Officer, Answer Man Finds, by John Kelly, Washington Post Sunday, March 22, 2009