Shakespeare and Mass Murder
The Astor Opera House disappeared within a few years of the 1851 riot, unable to overcome its label as the "Massacre Opera House" at "DisAster Place.” It stood on the Lafayette between Astor Place and East 8th St.
What Did Shakespeare Really Look Like?
No contemporary, undisputed likeness of Shakespeare exists; see Bill Bryson’s Shakesp eare for an entertaining discussion of the contenders. Ward used a bust in Stratford-upon-Avon cemetery and had an actor friend (James Morrison Steele MacKay) strike a pose. Like MacMonnies’ Nathan Hale, Ward’s Shakespeare captures a spirit without capturing an exact likeness.
John Quincy Adams Ward
As a young man, John Quincy Adams Ward (1830-1910) worked with Henry Kirke Brown on the Washington at Union Square, dedicated in 1856. Far earlier than his contemporaries, War believed American sculptors should present American ideas and be trained in America: he never studied abroad. He was the leading American sculptor for fifty-odd years, known as the "Dean of American Sculpture." Indian Hunter, 1869 (Central Park, near the Mall), established his reputation.
Manhattan has Washington, Greeley, Holley, Conkling, Dodge and Shakespeare, as well as the Seventh Regiment Memorial, 1869(Central Park, West Drive at 67th Street) and the Pilgrim, 1885 (Central Park, east end of the 72nd-Street Traverse). The original sculptures of the New York Stock Exchange pediment were Ward's, but they've been replaced with copies. Brooklyn has Henry Ward Beecher, 1891 (Columbus Park).
Copyright (c) 2013 Dianne L. Durante