John Rogers’ Civil War Statuary

John Rogers was noted for his popular plaster-cast statuary groups that adorned many middle-class Victorian parlors in 19th-century America.

Page updated on Aug 3, 2018 at 10:38 AM

John Rogers’ Civil War Statuary

Exhibit at Fort Ward Museum
Now through the December 2018

 A new exhibit on John Rogers’ Civil War Statuary has opened at Fort Ward Museum, and will continue through the end of the year. John Rogers was noted for his popular plaster-cast statuary groups that adorned many middle-class Victorian parlors in 19th-century America. In an age when most sculptors continued to produce idealized figures in the classical tradition which were commissioned by wealthy patrons, the honest realism of Rogers’ style and his goal to create modestly priced art that average people could afford earned him the title, “Artist of the Common People.” Some of Rogers’ earliest statuary groups were inspired by the Civil War, and his Unionist sympathies were expressed in such well-known works as The Council of War and Taking the Oath and Drawing Rations.  While some of his war groups highlighted the determination and heroism of the Union soldier, such as Wounded to the Rear: One More Shot, others reflect his ability to successfully render portraiture on a miniature scale, such as The Fugitive’s Story, which depicts the abolitionists Henry Ward Beecher, William Lloyd Garrison and John Greenleaf Whittier listening to an African American woman who recounts her escape from bondage. The exhibit features fine examples of Rogers Groups from Fort Ward Museum’s collection, with some additions on loan from a private collection.

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