Monuments, Memorials, Statues, Busts and Their Histories

Index/Monuments Often Missed In Washington, DC Area
Monuments Often Missed In Washington, DC

The Discus Thrower Statue

The Discus Thrower is a copy of the Discobolus of Myron sculpture. It is located at 22nd Street and Virginia Avenue, NW,in Edward J. Kelly Park, Washington, DC. The architect was Rodolfo Siviero, and the founder was Bruno Bearzi. The sculpture is made from bronze. Its column is African gray granite topped with a carved white marble Corinthian Capital. The base is travertine marble. The statue is life size. The column and base are 10 feet 6 inches x 5 feet 10 inches, respectively. The Discus Thrower is a nude male. He holds a discus in his proper right hand. His arm is back and behind him. He is bent as he is taking a step forward. His proper left arm is crossed in front of him. His head is bent down. The statue, a gift from the Italian Government, was dedicated on March 1, 1956. This gift was commemorative to the return of stolen art objects after WWII.

The inscription reads at the base of sculpture, east side:

GLI ITALIANI
AL POPOLO AMERICANIO
28 FEBRAIO 1956

The inscription reads at the base of sculpture, west side:

SIGMOM IVSTITIAE RESTITVTAE
XXVIII.II.MCMXLVIII

The Discus Thrower Sculpture
W

The Dol Hareubang Statues

There are two Dol Hareubang statues that are outside of the Korean Cultural Center on Embassy Row in Washington, DC. They are located at 2370 Massachusetts Avenue, NW. "Dol hareubangs, also called tol harubangs, hareubangs, or harubangs, are large mushroom-like statues found on Jeju Island off the southern tip of Korea. They are considered to be gods offering both protection and fertility and were placed outside of gates for protection against demons travelling between realities. The dol hareubangs are carved from porous basalt (volcanic rock) and range in size up to three metres high. The statues' faces feature grinning expressions, bulging eyes without pupils, a long, broad nose, and slight smile, and their hands rest on their bellies, one slightly above the other. In sets of two, one has a higher left hand, and the other a higher right hand. The hat is commonly referred to as phallic or mushroom-like. ..." W

This quote is engraved on the plaque (above left photo): "...Literally meaning Stone Grandfather, these iconic statues vary by size and style, but generally exhibit the humerous and smiling appearance of a friendly, neighborhood elder. ..."

Santos-Dumont Bust

The bronze bust of Santos-Dumont, is in front of the Brazilian Embassy, R & 22nd Sts., NW Washington, DC. Alberto Santos-Dumont was born and died in Brazil in 1873 and 1932 respectively. The Brazilians have honored him as the "Father of Aviation". He is also considered, by many, to be the inventor of the airplane. Mainstream aviation historians credit the Wright Brothers with the creation of the first successful heavier-than-air flying machine, able to take off under its own power and capable of sustained and controlled flight. The Wrights used a launching rail for their 1903 flights and a launch catapult for their 1904 and 1905 machines, while the aircraft of Santos-Dumont and other Europeans had wheeled undercarriages. The Wright Brothers continued to use skids, which necessitated the use of a dolly running on a track. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, founded in France in 1905 to verify aviation records, stated among its rules that an aircraft should be able to take off under its own power in order to qualify for a record.

Supporters of Santos-Dumont maintain that this means the 14-bis was, technically, the first successful fixed-wing aircraft. The issue of which aircraft was first or more practical is a matter of debate between supporters of Santos-Dumont and the Wright brothers. The Wrights flew earlier with no independent or official witness, and Santos-Dumont took off on wheels before the Wrights, earning a variety of prizes and official records in France. Santos-Dumont's flights in the 14-bis contributed to the development of aviation by publicly demonstrating the feasibility of heavier-than-air flight, which encouraged other pioneers in Europe to begin or quicken the pace of their experiments. Alberto Santos-Dumont W

The Golden Warrior Statue

"...On the front lawn of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, located at 1401 16th Street, NW in Washington DC, stands the national symbol: The Golden Warrior. The monument is a symbol Kazakhstan's independence, prosperity and proud heritage and was commemorated in 2006. It is a replica of The Golden Warrior featured in the Independence Monument in the Republic square, located in downtown Almaty. The book represents the Constitution of Kazakhstan. The handprint of a wise man is engraved in the book and all who visit the site are encouraged to place their hand in the imprint and make a wish. Bronze panels of scenes from Kazakhstan's history enclose the monument along with figurines in traditional Kazakh attire. The Golden Warrior, is also known as Zolotoi Chelovek (Russian) or Altan Adam (Kazakh). It is a statue of a Scythian warrior recovered from a kurgan, or burial mound, some 70 kilometers from Almaty in Issyk in 1969. In this burial mound, a skeleton was found and its believed to have been an 18 year old Scythian warrior prince dating back to the 3rd or 2nd century BCE. ...

...The Golden Warrior was discovered wearing a gold-platted uniform, along with a gold dagger and sword, and a pointed headdress with plaques of winged horses with horns, panthers, goats, among other animals. As is typical of burying rituals, the Golden Warrior's kurgan included ceramic vessels, bronze castings and jewelry. The warrior was probably a member of the elite, given the luxuries of the kurgan and the elaborate headdress. ..." The Golden Warrier

Miguel Grau Seminario Bust

The Bust of Miguel Grau Seminario is located in front of the Embassy of Peru, 1700 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Miguel Grau Seminario was a Peruvian military hero of the naval battle of Anamosduring the War of the Pacific (1879-1884). He was born in Paita, Peru July 27, 1834 and died in October 8, 1879 in Punta Angamos, Bolivia. He was known as el Caballero de los Mares (Spanish for "Gentleman of the Seas") for his chivalry and is esteemed by both Peruvians and Chileans. He is an iconic figure for the Peruvian Navy, and one of the most famous merchant marine and naval military leaders of America. His father was Lieutenant Colonel Juan Manuel Grau Berrio. He descended from one of the old families in his region, Luisa Seminario del Castillo.

"...Death at Battle of Angamos--Almirante Grau was killed by an armor-piercing shell during the Naval Battle of Angamos on 8 October 1879. Huáscar was captured by the Chileans after incurring severe casualties in the close-range artillery duel. Although most of Grau's body was not recovered, his remains were buried with military honours in Chile, which were returned to Peru in 1958. For many years after his death, his name was called in a ceremonial roll-call of the Peruvian Navy. His final resting place lies at the Escuela Militar Naval del Peru, in El Callao in an underground mausoleum. He posthumously received the rank of Gran Almirante del Perú (Grand Admiral of Peru) in 1967 by order of the Peruvian Congress. A portrait of Almirante Grau is on display in the museum ship Huáscar." W

The Hahnemann Monument

The Hahnemann Monument was cast in 1896, and the dedicated on June 21, 1900. Samuel Hahnemann Monument is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Rhode Island Avenue. It consists of a stepped oval platform, a curved granite half-wall with benches, four bronze bas-relief panels, a central arch, and a larger-than-life bronze statue of Hahnemann within a half-domed niche decorated with a vividly-colored Art Nouveau mosaic. Julius F. Harder was the architect of the monument. The architectural carvings, bas-relief panels and central statue were sculpted by Charles Henry Niehaus. The sculpture was cast in 1896, and the monument was dedicated on June 21, 1900.

Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, born July 2, 1843, was a German physician, best known for creating a system of alternative medicine called homeopathy. Hahnemann was dissatisfied with the state of medicine in his time, and particularly objected to practices such as bloodletting. He claimed that the medicine he had been taught to practice sometimes did the patient more harm than good:

"...My sense of duty would not easily allow me to treat the unknown pathological state of my suffering brethren with these unknown medicines. The thought of becoming in this way a murderer or malefactor towards the life of my fellow human beings was most terrible to me, so terrible and disturbing that I wholly gave up my practice in the first years of my married life and occupied myself solely with chemistry and writing. ..." W

Bernardo O'Higgens Bust

Bust of Bernardo O'Higgens in front of Embassy of Chile 1732 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme (1778-1842) was a Chilean independence leader who, together with José de San Martín, freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. Although he was the second Supreme Director of Chile (1817-1823), he is considered one of Chile's founding fathers, as he was the first holder of this title to head a fully independent Chilean state. O'Higgins was of Spanish and Iris ancestry. "Bernardo O'Higgins was a member of the O'Higgins Family who was born in the Chilean city of Chillán in 1778, the illegitimate son of Ambrosio O'Higgins, 1st Marquis of Osorno, a Spanish officer born in County Sligo, Ireland, who became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru. His mother was Isabel Riquelme, a prominent local lady and daughter of Don Simón Riquelme y Goycolea, a member of the Chillán Cabildo, or council.

O'Higgins spent his early years with his mother's family in central-southern Chile, and later he lived with the Albano family, who were his father's commercial partners, in Talca. At age 15, O'Higgins was sent to Lima by his father. He had a distant relationship with Ambrosio, who supported him financially and was concerned with his education, but the two never met in person. It is unclear why Ambrosio did not marry Isabel. High-ranking Spanish government officials in The Americas were forbidden to marry locals, but at the time of O'Higgins' birth, Ambrosio O'Higgins was only a junior military officer. It has been suggested that Isabel's family would not have seen the match as advantageous at the time. Two years later, she married Don Félix Rodríguez, an old friend of her father's. O'Higgins used his mother's surname until the death of his father in 1801. ..." W

Saint Jerome the Priest Statue

St. Jerome the Priest, is a bronze statue, by Ivan Mestrovic. It is located at the Croatian Embassy, 2343 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, on Embassy Row. Saint Jerome was born on modern Croatian territory. The Statue was donated by Ivan Mestrovic to the Croatian Franciscan Fathers who commissioned it. Originally the Statue was located at the Franciscan Fathers' Abbey on 1359 Monroe Street, NE, Washington, DC, and later moved to its present location.

There is an inscription on the front base of the statue which reads:

ST. JEROME THE PRIEST
AD 341-420
GREATEST DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
I. MESTROVIC

Jerome (ca. 347-420) is first translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. His edition of the Bible, the Vulgate, is still an important text of the Roman Catholic Church. He was born c. 347 at Strido, in modern day Croatia. A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, founded a monastery for him in Bethlehem and he completed his translation there. This statue, originally located at the Franciscan Abbey, was moved to the Croatian Embassy after Yugoslavia was dissolved and the Croatian state was formed.

Saint Jerome the Priest W W

Khatchkar Cross Stone/Armenian Embassy

The Khatchkar sculpture is located outside the Armenian Embassy in Washington, DC. The address is 2225 R Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008 in the Embassy Row Area. "A khachkar, also known as Armenian cross-stones is a carved, memorial stele bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, and botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of Medieval Christian Armenian art. Since 2010, khachkars, their symbolism and craftsmanship are inscribed in the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. ...The most common khachkar feature is a cross surmounting a rosette or a solar disc. The remainder of the stone face is typically filled with elaborate patterns of leaves, grapes, pomegranates, and bands of interlace. Occasionally a khachkar is surmounted by a cornice sometimes containing biblical or saintly figures. Most early khachkars were erected for the salvation of the soul of either a living or a deceased person. Otherwise they were intended to commemorate a military victory, the construction of a church, or as a form of protection from natural disasters. The most common location for early khachkars was in a graveyard. However, Armenian gravestones take many other forms, and only a minority are khachkars." W The Khatchkar Cross Stoneiin Washinton, DC was unveiled in 2001. It marked 1,700 years since Armenia proclaimed Christianity as its state religion-the first state in the world to do so.

Saraswati Hindu Goddess Statue

The Indonesian Embassy, located at 2020 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 has a lovely statue of Saraswati, a Hindu Goddess Statue. She is white and gold, has four upraised arms and is located in front of the embassy in a garden. She is the goddess of learning and wisdom. There are three children studying. They are sitting at her feet. She was sculpted by three Balinese sculptors in a period of just three weeks. Indonesia is has the largest Muslim population in the world. One of the most famous islands in Indonesia is Bali. Djalal was quoted as saying, "And Bali is a Hindu enclave in Muslim-majority Indonesia. And I think it says a lot about our respect for religious freedom that the statue in front of the country with the largest Muslim population is a Hindu statue." A Hindu Goddess Arrives To Bless Embassy Row

Taras Shevchenko

Leo Mol's Taras Shevchenko Memorial is located near the intersection of 22nd and P Streets, NW, in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The stonework was created by the Jones Brothers Company of Barre, Vermont. The sculptor of the granite monument was Vincent Illuzzi of Barre, Vermont. Leo Mol created the bronze statue that stands next to the granite sculpture. Leonid Molodoshanin, was known as Leo Mol. He was born January 15, 1915 and died July 4, 2009. Mol was a Ukrainian Canadian stained glass artist and sculptor. W The granite monument was carved by Vincent Illuzzi of Barre, Vermont working at Jones Brothers in Barre. The memorial was authorized by Congress on September 13, 1960, and dedicated on June 27, 1964. It is administered by the National Park Service, a federal agency of the United States Department of the Interior. He was a member of the Sts Cyril and Methodius Brotherhood and an academician of the Imperial Academy of Arts.

Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko in 1814 and died 1861. He was an "Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, public and political figure, as well as folklorist and ethnographer. He is also known under the book name Kobzar. That was his most famous literary work, a collection of poems entitled Kobzar. His literary heritage is regarded to be the foundation of modern Ukrainian literature and, to a large extent, the modern Ukrainian language. Shevchenko is also known for many masterpieces as a painter and an illustrator. ...Taras Shevchenko's writings formed the foundation for the modern Ukrainian literature to a degree that he is also considered the founder of the modern written Ukrainian language (although Ivan Kotlyarevsky pioneered the literary work in what was close to the modern Ukrainian in the end of the 18th century.) Shevchenko's poetry contributed greatly to the growth of Ukrainian national consciousness, and his influence on various facets of Ukrainian intellectual, literary, and national life is still felt to this day. Influenced by Romanticism, Shevchenko managed to find his own manner of poetic expression that encompassed themes and ideas germane to Ukraine and his personal vision of its past and future. W


A relief depicting Prometheus is located beside the statue.

Xochipilli God of Flowers

"When the OAS Building located at Seventeenth Street and Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington D.C., was completed in 1910, it was considered the architectural wonder of its time. Ninety-three years later, the building's tropical patio, marbled staircases and galleries, and monumental halls continue to delight the thousands of tourists and diplomats who visit the elegant structure every year. The building was designed and constructed to serve as the headquarters of what today is the world's oldest regional organization, the Organization of American States (OAS), an association of nations formed by 35 countries from the Americas and the Caribbean. ..." Organization of American States/Main Building

"Xochipilli was the god of art, games, beauty, dance, flowers, and song in Aztec mythology. His name contains the Nahuatl words xochitl ('flower') and pilli (either 'prince' or 'child'), and hence means 'flower prince'. As the patron of writing and painting, he was called Chicomexochitl 'Seven-flower', but he could also be referred to as Macuilxochitl 'Five-flower'. His wife was the human girl Mayahuel, and his twin sister was Xochiquetzal. As one of the gods responsible for fertility and agricultural produce, he was also associated with Tlaloc (god of rain), and Cinteotl (god of maize). Xochipilli corresponds to the Tonsured Maize God among the Classic Mayas. Xochipilli was also the patron of both homosexuals and male prostitutes, a role possibly resulting from his being absorbed from the Toltec civilization." W

There is so much to see at the OAS Building, grounds and museum behind the main building. Ourdoor sculptures include Xochipilli, the Aztec god of flowers, two distinguished statesmen, a Guatemalan and American, Queen Isabella, patron of Columbus, the prophet David by one of Brazil's most renowned sculptors, and a Nicaraguan poet; one of the greatest Spanish authors in modern times. ..."

Note: Make sure to see The Art Museum of the Americas behind the Main Building (enter at 201 18th St. NW, at the corner of Constitution Ave). There is a permanent collection of Latin American and Caribbean art of the 20th century. The museum is free and open Tuesday-Sun from 10m-5pm. Trusted Tour Travel Guide

There are many works of art to see at the OAS Building, Museum and grounds. Below are some of the sculptures and busts that are outside on the grounds:

W Amerigo Vesucci (left) and W Elroy Alfaro (right)


I really enjoyed this one.

W Isabel la Catolica or Queen of Castile (left)
W Teresa de la Parra, Venezuelan novelist (right).


OAS Building Sculpture of Mother and Child--Unidentified


W José Cecilio del Valle (left) and Pablo Neruda (right)

Cordell Hull


For More Information: Monuments Often Missed In Washington, DC

First posted: Mar 12, 2014
Last update: Jan 31, 2015