John Quincy Adams Ward - Horace Fairbanks
John Quincy Adams Ward (1830-1910), American
Horace Fairbanks, 1893
MARBLE, 26 ½ inches high
Gift of Mrs. Horace Fairbanks
John Quincy Adams Ward was among the nation's leading sculptors at mid-century. As scholar Wayne Craven has observed, Ward's sense of naturalism, strength of design, and incisive portrayal of individual character distinguish his later portraits, such as this one. This depiction of the Athenaeum's founder was commissioned on behalf of the institution by Fairbanks' wife Mary, five years after her husband's death. She reviewed photographs of studies for the final work, making detailed suggestions to the artist so that her husband would appear as she remembered him.