John Quincy Adams Ward
Henry Baldwin Hyde
Signed J. Q. A. Ward / Sculptor., inscribed Henry B. Hyde / Founder of/ The Equitable Life Insurance Society., numbered 4-13 and stamped with foundry mark The Henry-Bonnard Bronze Co. / Founders. N.Y. 1903.
Bronze with brown patina
20 3/4 x 7 1/4 x 6 3/4 inches
Private collection, New York
Lewis I. Sharp, John Quincy Adams Ward: Dean of American Sculpture, Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1985, pp. 258-262
Thayer Tolles, ed., American Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Volume 1: A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born before 1865, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999, pp. 152-54
Henry B. Hyde (1834-1899), founder of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, was a patron of John Quincy Adams Ward and commissioned him to make a marble group for placement over the entrance to the Equitable Building in New York and also to execute a portrait of his son, James Hazen Hyde. Following Henry Hyde's death, Ward was commissioned to produce a lifesize bronze portrait figure of the Equitable founder for the lobby of the Equitable building. This statue was cast by the Henry-Bonnard bronze foundry in New York in 1901.
According to Lewis Sharp, the same year Ward made six bronze casts of the 20-inch high finished model, also cast by Bonnard foundry. Two years later, in February 1903, Ward had fifty more statuettes cast in bronze, and on July of that year ordered twenty-five more casts. In addition Sharp notes: "Besides these three orders, several of the located statuettes have a 1902 foundry date, indicating that figures were cast between the six statuettes ordered in 1901 and the seventy-five figures requested in 1903." (Sharp, p. 260.)
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