The Crusader (sculpture)

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Victor Lawson Monument
Chicago, Illinois The Crusader1.jpg
Location Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Built 1931
Architectural style Gothic Revival[1]
Sculptor Lorado Taft
Governing body Graceland Cemetery
Part of Graceland Cemetery (#00001628)
Designated CP January 18, 2001

The Crusader, also known as the Victor Lawson Monument, is a memorial marking the grave of Chicago newspaper publisher Victor Lawson. It is in Chicago's historic Graceland Cemetery and was designed by American sculptor Lorado Taft in 1931.

History[edit]

The Crusader was created in 1931 by Lorado Taft.[2] In Chicago's historic Graceland Cemetery, it is a monument intended to memorialize Victor F. Lawson (1850–1925), the publisher of the Chicago Daily News.[2] The Chicago Daily News was founded by Melville E. Stone, Percy Meggy and William Dougherty in 1875.[3] In July 1876, Lawson invested money into the publication, which was struggling, and became its business manager. By the 1890s, the paper had reached a circulation of 200,000 people. Lawson remained involved with the paper until 1925.[4] The Crusader was commissioned by Victor Lawson's brother, Iver Lawson.[5]

Design[edit]

The Crusader is a medieval knight, and is used to symbolize the character of Victor Lawson.[2] Standing more than thirteen feet tall, it was carved out of a solid block of dark granite supplied by the Henry C. Smalley Granite Company of Quincy, Massachusetts. The granite was then highly polished.[6] The knight, with a large sword and shield, was an image that Taft had contemplated for years; he used it in numerous works besides The Crusader.[7] The original model of The Crusader was done in clay.[7]

Unlike Taft's earlier work, The Crusader emphasizes its "sheer mass", helped by the lack of realistic details in the sculpture.[7] The monument does not bear Lawson's name, but does have an inscription which reads, "Above all things truth beareth away victory",[2] a quote from 1 Esdras 3:12.[8] Stylistically, the Lawson Monument falls within Gothic Revival.[1] The Crusader is described as "an excellent example of Taft's late style in which he blended literal realism and allegory".[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Graceland Cemetery, Lawson, Victor, Monument", Property Information Report, HAARGIS Database, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, accessed October 8, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Kiefer, et al., p. 71.
  3. ^ Scott, Frank William, and Edmund Janes James. Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 1814-1879, (Google Books link), Harvard University, 1910, p. 127.
  4. ^ Nord, David Paul. "Lawson, Victor Fremont". American National Biography Online, Oxford University Press, February 2000. Accessed on October 11, 2011.
  5. ^ Dennis, Charles Henry. Victor Lawson: His Time and His Work, (Google Books link), University of Chicago Press, 1935, p. 462.
  6. ^ "Unique statue as memorial to Victor Lawson". Chicago Daily Tribune. July 24, 1931. p. 21.
  7. ^ a b c Prince, Sue Ann. The Old Guard and the Avante-Garde: Modernism in Chicago, 1910-1940, (Google Books link), University of Chicago Press, 1990, p. 52, (ISBN 0226682846).
  8. ^ "Merchants and Inventors", Graceland Cemetery, official site, accessed October 9, 2011.
  9. ^ Kiefer, et al., p. 149.