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Introduction
1)
Title
Washington Irving
2)
Town, State
New York, NY
3)
ID #
1879
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
July 14, 2010
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
July 14, 2010
6)
Site Worked Last
August 04, 2010
Description
A bronze bust recalls Washington Irving (1783-1859), the popular 19th century New Yorker and antebellum writer of novels, histories and essays. He impacted writing as a form of livelihood early in the nation’s dawning, and he created for world-wide audiences a new, and seemingly timeless, literary world composed of the likes of Knickerbocker, Gotham, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Irving was also a U.S. foreign service official. He died at his home, Sunnyside, in today’s Irvington, New York, near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where he is buried. • This Irving monument was created by sculptor Friedrich Beer (1846-1912), Paris-based at the time of its 1885 gifting to New York City. (The foundry for the work has not been identified by the writer.) Described in the City’s Catalogue of Works of Art as a “bronze bust…with low-cut waistcoat, high collar and a stock, [it] rests on a pedestal made of a wooden frame covered with sheets of bronze.” For its Irving Place site, created some 50 years later, a new pedestal -- eight-feet high, of French limestone – was designed by notable American architect Aymar Embury II (1880-1966). A Princeton-educated engineer, he is attached to a number of well-known, enduring New York monuments and memorials. • The Irving bust, originally situated in Bryant Park and resting on “a shabby pedestal of wood,” to quote one notice in The New York Times in 1935, was moved to the west side of Washington Irving High School, at the corner of East 17th Street and Irving Place. • The work was given, originally, as a gift to the city by Dr. Joseph Wiener, German-born and a prominent New York physician who was a great admirer of Washington Irving. Though the exact unveiling or dedication date of the memorial site in Bryant Park is not yet known to the writer, the Irving Place site was dedicated October 29, 1935.
Content
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1)
Individual|group/family recognition
2)
Person of letters/academia/science
3)
Author/Writer
5)
Caucasian
6)
Not Applicable
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Bust of person
4)
Stone/rock and metal
5)
Average (life-size)
7)
Inscribed/lettered directly
8)
Text available, all
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
2900-918.1, 2900-918.2, 2900-918.3, 2900-918.4, 2900-918.5, 2900-918.6
10)
Design Preservation
Failing
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Beer, Friedrich
12.2)
Designer 2
Artist/Artistic Group: Embury II, Aymar
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Not Yet Determined
Setting
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1)
Walkway|Street
3)
Appearance/Setting
Completed
3.1)
Appeal of the Item
3 Wanting
3.2)
Setting appears appropriate
3 Wanting
3.3)
Traffic near for access, distanced for appreciation
4 Satisfactory
3.4)
Visualization and panorama
3 Wanting
3.5)
Opportunity to view, to enjoy the item
3 Wanting
3.6)
Overall Averaged Score
3.2 Wanting (Given a 1.0 - 7.0 Range)
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4)
Not Entered
6)
October 29, 1935
7)
Not Entered
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Unsatisfactory
12)
Local government
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
School Settings
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
American Authors
Demography
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1)
File Number
50A
2)
Town/City
New York
3)
County
New York
4)
District
Manhattan
5)
State
NY
6)
Zip
10003
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
40.7358150000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-73.9873760000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
Irving Pl
11)
Intersecting Street 2
17th St
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Washington Irving High School
13)
Additional Identifier 2
14)
Links/Websites
15)
Man-made
16)
Family/friends/colleagues
17)
17.1)
Revolution: War/Governance | 1774-1788
17.2)
Washington to Lincoln|1789-1865
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
July 14, 2010
19)
19.1)
Site Survey
19.2)
Book/Pamphlet/Text
19.3)
Newspaper
19.4)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
Not Entered
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
DESIGN: Inscription -- Currently, there is no inscription visible on the monument. However, there was in the past. Initial presentation: when the work arrived at the Arsenal, in Central Park, on the morning of June 30, 1886, and was unpacked in the presence of Park Commissioners, an inscription was documented, as follows: ”Washington Irving; Born, 1783; Died, 1859: Dedicated to his fellow-citizens by Joseph Wiener, M.D., 1886.” A 1905 image setting the bust in Bryant Park, in the Gayle and Cohen book, is inscribed: Washington/Irving /Born 1783-Died 1859”. Saltus and Tisne’s publication (1923) includes the same inscription. A Times photo (published 1935) of the memorial’s Irving Place re-dedication shows the base inscribed as: “Washington/Irving.” Lederer’s work (published 1975) shows an image of the bust at East 17th and Irving Place with the same inscription. However, as of the Site Worked Last date, above, no inscription seems to appear.
SETTING: Locations --
1886 (Initial): in Central Park temporarily, on exhibition, awaiting placement decision by park’s management; outcome was not to place in Central Park.
1887 (Estimated): Situated in Bryant Park, 6th Avenue & 42nd St, until 1932; moved to storage as Bryant Park was renovated.
1935 (Current): Situated at Washington Irving High School, East 17th Street at Irving Place.
LEAD SPONSOR: Family/friends/colleagues -- Dr. Joseph Wiener, a physician and an Irving admirer
SOURCES/1: Catalogue, Works of Art Belonging to New York City, Vol. I, p. 161 and p. 164, facing; Dunshee, As You Pass By, p. 105; Fried and Gillion, New York Civic Sculpture, p. 59; Gayle and Cohen, Guide to Manhattan's Outdoor Sculpture, p. 98; Jackson, The Encyclopedia of New York City, pp. 603-604; Lederer, All Around the Town, p. 61; Saltus and Tisne, Statues of New York, pp. 52-53; SIRIS; Wikipedia.
SOURCES/2: The following writings and notices about the monument are from The New York Times, as indicated: October 30, 1935, two articles; October 24, 1935; January 26, 1935; November 11, 1886; and, July 1, 1886.
COMMENT: For an additional monument to Washington Irving, see ID# 874.



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