Appeal to the Great Spirit

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Appeal to the Great Spirit
Appeal to the Great Spirit.jpg
ArtistCyrus Edwin Dallin
Dimensions290 cm × 250 cm × 300 cm (114 in × 100 in × 120 in)
LocationBoston, United States
Coordinates42°20′19″N 71°05′37″W / 42.33873°N 71.09367°W / 42.33873; -71.09367
OwnerBoston Museum of Fine Arts

Appeal to the Great Spirit is a 1909 equestrian statue by Cyrus Dallin, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It was the last in his four-piece series, The Epic of the Indian. A statuette of it is in the permanent collection of the White House and decorated President Bill Clinton's Oval Office.


A native of Utah, the young Dallin frequently interacted with Native American children, giving him insights that he called upon while creating this and other works. The model who posed for the sculpture was Antonio Corsi, an Italian who modeled for several great painters and sculptors of the era.[1]

In 1909, the sculpture was cast in Paris, and won a gold medal for its exhibition in the Paris Salon. On January 23, 1912, it was installed outside the main entrance to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.[2] A restoration of the Boston version was reversed at Dallin's request because he preferred the light green tones that had developed on the equestrian sculpture over time rather than the typical "statuary brown" patina the conservator applied without consulting him.[citation needed]

Smaller versions[edit]

An edition of nine 40-inch bronzes of the statue was produced about 1922. One is the centerpiece of the Tower Room of Dartmouth College's Baker Tower, the college's main library and most iconic building.[3]

There is a full-scale model in Muncie, Indiana, in the intersection of Walnut and Granville streets in the Wysor Heights Historic District (40°12′17″N 85°23′10″W / 40.20485°N 85.38602°W / 40.20485; -85.38602), and is considered by many residents to be a symbol of Muncie.[4] A plaster example in this size is at the Cyrus Dallin Museum in Arlington, Massachusetts, and another is in the Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York.[5] Central High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, possesses another plaster example, which was used, in 1985, as the model for a bronze version. The casting was done by American Artbronze Fine Arts Foundry under the direction of Howard R. Kirsch. The heroic-sized bronze is now installed in Woodward Park in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the intersection of 21st Street and Peoria.(36°07′58″N 95°58′30″W / 36.13276°N 95.97489°W / 36.13276; -95.97489).[6]

Examples of the 21-inch bronze statuette are at the White House, the U.S. Department of State, and many American museums.

An 8-1/2-inch miniature edition was produced by the Gorham Manufacturing Company in 1913; in 2009, No. 263 sold for $9,375.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

Brother Records logo.
  • The sculpture is used as the logo for the Beach Boys’ vanity record label Brother Records. It was first seen on the band's 1967 album Smiley Smile and its attending single "Heroes and Villains." When Beach Boy Carl Wilson was asked in 1975 why the group used this as their logo, he said the Indian was chosen because Brian, Dennis, and Carl's grandfather believed that there was a spiritual Indian "guide" who watched over them from the "other side." The choice of the logo was Brian's. Carl called the logo "The Last Horizon."[citation needed]
  • A painting of the sculpture appears on the cover of the album Lysol (1992) by rock group The Melvins.
  • A painting of the sculpture appears on the cover of the album The Time Is Near (1970) by rock group Keef Hartley Band.
  • In the vinyl release of Directions to See a Ghost by the American rock band The Black Angels, the poster inside features a skeleton form of this sculpture with a psychedelic background.
  • A painting of the sculpture appears on the cover of the album Spirit of God (1984) by the Native American Gospel recording artist Johnny P. Curtis.
  • An early instance of the sculpture's place in American culture is its appearance (as photographed by Baldwin Coolidge) on the cover of "A-M-E-R-I-C-A" (1917), a World War I song by May Greene and Billy Lang and published by D. W. Cooper.


  1. ^ Craven, Wayne (1968). Sculpture in America. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company. pp. 530–531. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
  2. ^ "Appeal to the Great Spirit". Boston Art Commission. Retrieved 2013-07-22.. See also "Big Bronze Statue by Cyrus Dallin Placed at Museum", The Christian Science Monitor, January 24, 1912, p. 1.
  3. ^ "Cyrus Edwin Dallin, American, 1861-1944". Hood Museum of Art. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-22.Dartmouth was founded as an institution to educate the Native Americans of New England, and it recalls that heritage through art such as Dallin's Appeal to the Great Spirit.
  4. ^ "Appeal to the Great Spirit". City of Muncie. Archived from the original on 2013-12-10. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  5. ^ "Appeal to the Great Spirit". Rockwell Museum of Western Art. Archived from the original on 2013-07-25. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  6. ^ "Appeal to the Great Spirit, (sculpture)". Smithsonian Institution Research Information System(SIRIS). 1996. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  7. ^ "Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944): Appeal to the Great Spirit". Christie's. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-22.

External links[edit]

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