Christopher Columbus (sculpture by Vittori)
Christopher Columbus Artist Enrico Vittori Year 1920, renovated 1955 Type Bronze bust on granite pedestal and granite base Dimensions 344 cm × 200 cm × 190 cm (135.5 in × 80 in × 76 in) Location Indiana Statehouse, Indianapolis Owner State of Indiana Department of Administration
Christopher Columbus is a public artwork by Italian artist Enrico Vittori, located on the grounds of the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States. The sculpted bust of Christopher Columbus sits atop a pedestal that has relief carvings on its front, left and righthand sides. The sculpture was installed by the southwest corner of the Indiana Statehouse in 1920 by members of Italian immigrant communities throughout the state of Indiana. The sculpture stands 135.5 inches high (344 centimeters), has a width of 80 inches (200 centimeters) and a depth of 76 inches (190 centimeters).
The bust of explorer Christopher Columbus has been cast in bronze. He wears a period costume, and his hair falls at approximately chin length. His facial expression is unsmiling, his chin is raised slightly and his eyes gaze off to his left. Below his left shoulder, the name of the artist is inscribed, E. VITTORI.
Below the bust is a granite pedestal with a plaque and relief carvings underneath. The carving on the front of the pedestal depicts a figure grouping with a man draped in fabric and wearing a crown of laurels standing in the center. His left arm is raised in the air and his right hand rests in front of his waist. To the left and right of this man, three figures of Native Americans are featured, two of whom are kneeling before him; one on either side. The kneeling figure on the Columbus' left is a man, while the two figures on his right are women, one of whom is standing just behind his right shoulder. The relief on the right side of the pedestal depicts a seated woman with her right hand resting on her chest and her left hand on a large anchor; her head is turned to her right. The relief on the left side of the pedestal shows a profile view of a seated woman who is resting her right elbow on a globe. Just below the bottom of the relief sculptures, the pedestal slopes outward to meet a two-stepped granite base. The bust on the Christopher Columbus piece is approximately 39 inches (99 cm) by 23 inches (58 cm) by 29 inches (74 cm), the pedestal is 82 inches (210 cm) by 62 inches (160 cm) by 58 inches (150 cm) and the base is 14.5 inches (37 cm) by 80 inches (200 cm) by 76 inches (190 cm).
The front of the sculpture contains a plaque that states the following:
- CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS
- BORN IN GENOA, ITALY 1451. DISCOVERED
- AMERICA OCTOBER 12, 1492. THIS LAND
- OF OPPORTUNITY AND FREEDOM WAS
- THUS PRESERVED FOR HUMANITY BY THE
- PERENNIAL GENIUS ABIDING IN THE
- ITALIAN RACE.
- REFURBISHED BY KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS 1956.
The back of the pedestal has metal lettering attached directly to the granite which reads:
- ERECTED A.D. 1920
- BY THE ITALIANS
- OF INDIANAPOLIS KOKOMO
- LOGANSPORT RICHMOND
Directly below these words, another plaque has been placed on the pedestal which reads:
- THE COLUMBUS QUINCENTENARY JUBILEE
- COMMISSION OF INDIANA INC., IN BEHALF
- OF INDIANA'S ITALIAN-AMERICAN
- COMMUNITY DEDICATES THIS PLAQUE TO
- THE CELEBRATION OF THE 500TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE
- COLUMBUS DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
- MAY THE GENIUS ABIDING IN THE ITALIAN RACE ENCOURAGE TOLERANCE
- AND ACCEPTANCE OF ALL CULTURES AS
- AMERICA'S ULTIMATE CONTRIBUTION TO HUMANITY.
The sculpture was given to the state by a group of Italian-American citizens living in Indiana. Christopher Columbus is the only monument at the Indiana Statehouse donated by immigrants, and it was intended by the Italians to be a tribute to America. It stood unchanged for 35 years until 1955 when the Knights of Columbus funded the cleaning of the bronze bust, as well as the addition of new bronze lettering on the back of the pedestal. The sculpture was modified once again in 1992 during the Columbus Quincentenary, which celebrated the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage to America. The Knights of Columbus installed a plaque bearing another statement about Christopher Columbus, bringing the total number of written statements on the pedestal to three.
Christopher Columbus was created by Enrico (Harry) Vittori, an Italian artist who lived in Indianapolis. Vittori attended the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy and traveled to Indianapolis in 1919 to work for an airplane company.
Christopher Columbus was installed on the Indiana Statehouse lawn shortly after its completion and has not been moved or viewed in any other location. However, the initial proposal for the sculpture requested that the piece be erected in one of the Indianapolis parks, and the location of "University Square" was listed as a potential site for the monument.
Christopher Columbus was made possible by a fundraising campaign undertaken by Vincent A. LaPenta, a surgeon and scientist who presided over the executive committee of Italian Propaganda. The installation was performed by various members of the Italian community living in Indiana and was dedicated on October 31, 1920 by governor James P. Goodrich. Vincent A. LaPenta spoke at the dedication ceremony and stated, "Columbus can be considered humanity's greatest benefactor." The sculpture was accepted as a gift and is currently owned by the State of Indiana's Department of Administration.
Christopher Columbus was cleaned in 1992 and surveyed once more in 1994 as part of the Save Outdoor Sculpture! project. The overall condition was rated as "good", but it was determined that the sculpture would benefit from conservation treatment. In particular, the piece suffered from metallic staining, erosion, green caulking on the pedestal, and bird guano.
- Hendricks Monument
- List of public art at the Indiana Statehouse
- ^ a b c Grieff, Glory-June. (2005) Remembrance, faith and fancy: outdoor public sculpture in Indiana. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society Press. p 165.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Inventories Catalog. “Christopher Columbus, (sculpture)”. http://siris-artinventories.si.edu/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=12K0124F60B95.14570&profile=ariall&uri=link=3100006~!308369~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=Browse&menu=search&ri=2&source=~!siartinventories&term=Vittori%2C+Enrico%2C+sculptor.&index=AUTHOR Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- ^ Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center. “Christopher Columbus, (sculpture)”. http://collections.si.edu/search/results.jsp?q=enrico+vittori Retrieved 15 November 2010.
- ^ a b c Divita, James J. (7 January 1994). “Christopher Columbus Monument, State House”. Marian College (Indianapolis).
- ^ a b c National Italian American Foundation. “Tributes to Christopher Columbus in the United States”. http://wwww.niaf.org/research/report_columbus.asp Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- ^ a b Unknown author (17 June 1919). “Indianapolis Italians to Offer City Monument to Christopher Columbus”. Indianapolis News (Indianapolis).
- ^ a b Public Art Indianapolis. “Map”. http://www.publicartindianapolis.org/pal.aspx. Retrieved 23 November 2010.
- ^ a b Wilgus, Sue Ann (9 December 1993). “SOS! Survey Questionnaire”. National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property (Washington, D.C.).
- View more photos of this piece and other artwork found at the Indiana Statehouse
- Save Outdoor Sculpture! and SIRIS Database
- Indiana Statehouse Tour Office
- The National Park Service: Indiana Statehouse
Interior artworksSarah T. Bolton · Otis Bowen · George Rogers Clark · William Hayden English · Calvin Fletcher · First Religious Service in Indianapolis · Benjamin Harrison · Here I Grew Up · Indiana · Indiana State Stone · Abraham Lincoln (Jones) · Sherman Minton (Gage) · Stephen Neal · Frank O'Bannon · Colonel Richard Owen · Robert D. Orr · Henry F. Schricker · Spirit of Indiana · Values of Civilization · Daniel W. Voorhees · George Washington · Matthew E. Welsh · Ashbel Parsons Willard · Frances Elizabeth Willard · Wendell Willkie Exterior artworksAbraham Lincoln plaque · Christopher Columbus · Coal Miner · Tulip to Life · Thomas A. Hendricks · Indiana Law Enforcement and Firefighter Memorial · Oliver P. Morton · Robert Dale Owen · Untitled (Indians, Reaper, Blacksmith, Pioneer Family) · George Washington (DeLue) · Workers' Memorial · Young Abe Lincoln Indianapolis
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Oliver P. Morton (monument) — Oliver P. Morton and Reliefs Artist Rudolf Schwarz Year 1907 (1907) Type Bronze, granite Dimensions 480 c … Wikipedia
Italy — /it l ee/, n. a republic in S Europe, comprising a peninsula S of the Alps, and Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, and other smaller islands: a kingdom 1870 1946. 57,534,088; 116,294 sq. mi. (301,200 sq. km). Cap.: Rome. Italian, Italia. * * * Italy… … Universalium