H. K. Bush Brown the Sculptor of the
Meade Equestrian Monument
Henry Kirke Bush-Brown
1857 - 1935
Prior to being granted the commission for the Meade, Bush-Brown was a well know sculptor of portrait busts and many public monuments. However for a sculptor to be granted an equestrian was deemed a huge milestone in ones career. Such was the case of Bush-Brown’s Meade. Bush-Brown, a well known breeder of Arabian horses was very aware of the structure of horses. As we view the bronze monument the details of the horse are life like and the proportions nearly perfect.
The horse represented in the Meade was Bush-Brown's first equestrian. When commissioned to also sculpt the equestrian of General Reynolds at Gettysburg (dedicated July 1st 1899) Bush-Brown felt the horse represented in the Reynolds was "better than the Meade" as noted in the above hand written and signed letter from Bush-Brown dated June 20, 1897.
The incised name of the sculptor was in the original clay completed in 1895. It now can be seen in the final bronze.
Models were presented of the proposed Meade for review by several well known sculptors including Joseph A. Bailly. Although Bailly had many well know works he was not granted the commission. Above we can see Bailly's proposed monument and it does look very similar to the finish bronze completed by Bush-Brown.
Above is a rare photograph taken just after the dedication of the monument in 1896. During the dedication event Brevet Major General St. Clair A. Mulholland would place a laurel wreath on the monument as a symbol of victory.
The monument photographed after the dedication by J. I. Mumper whos studio was located at 41 Baltimore St. in Gettysburg.
On the base of the monument when dedicated the dates of the Generals birth and death were engraved. Today, bronze tablets on both the north and south side of the base have been added with more information in regards to General Meade.
After the dedication the likeness of the monument would adorn many Grand Army of the Republic medals. The bronze example above is approx. 35 mm in diameter and was struck by the Joseph Davison Company.
Bureau Brothers of Philadelphia Pennsylvania would cast the final bronze.
Major General George Gordon Meade
Born: December 31, 1815
Died: November 6, 1872
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