Sculpting the Citizen Soldier: Reproduction and National Memory, 1865-1917


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Department of Art History


This dissertation examines citizen soldier monuments, which appeared after the Civil War in honor of the veteran, in an effort to understand the relation between sculptural form, national memory, and the marketing of multiplied art in the late nineteenth century. It also considers rich connections between the soldier monument and the Victorian culture of death, rural cemeteries, and gravestone carving. The project proposes that the citizen soldier monument catered to the memorial needs of the middle class in the wake of America’s first modern war. In this context, the copied monument, often considered unoriginal, becomes a material symbol of the enormity of Civil War death, the connection between local loss and national memory, and the taste of a public trained to experience sculpture through copies.