Donald De Lue the Sculptor of the
Donald Harcourt De Lue
Born: October 5, 1897
Died: August 26, 1988
Donald De Lue was born in Boston and his career as an artist began when he was twelve years old. De Lue apprenticed with Boston sculptor Richard Recchia and also with Bela Pratt and Robert Baker where he would master the art of sculpting the human figure. After WWI, De Lue would move to Paris where he would continue his education. He would study under the well know French artists Pina and Bourdelle.
Returning to the United States, De Lue would be employed as an assistant to Bryant Baker. Under Baker, De Lue continued to grow as a sculptor and would develop his own style. This style can be seen in the three works De Lue has created at Gettysburg National Military Park. This style was described by Jonathan L. Fairbanks as "both Greco-Roman and late Renaissance sculptors." De Lue has many works throughout the world including the "Spirit of American Youth" at St. Laurent, Normandy France.
A copy of the original sketch done by sculptor Donald De Lue of the Soldiers and Sailors of the Confederacy Monument. (c 1963)
The idea of the monument came from Miss Desire'e L. Franklin who was in charge of the centennial celebration for the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Miss Franklin, a friend of the sculptor De Lue cajoled him into submitting a design. This design was approved on November 10, 1963 and a contract was signed with De Lue on February 1, 1964. The bronze was cast in Viareggio, Italy by the Lera foundry. Delue would complete three works at Gettysburg all of southern subjects, they are:
Soldiers and Sailors of the Confederacy Monument dedicated August 25, 1865.
Louisiana State Memorial dedicated June 11, 1971.
Mississippi State Memorial dedicated October 19, 1973.
Information used for this page was found in the book "The Sculptures Of Donald De Lue Gods, Prophets, and Heros"
Author, Roger Howlett. Published by David R. Godine Boston 1990.
The dedication of the monument was held on a cloudy and cool Wednesday, August 25th, 1965. One of the documented eyewitness accounts of the dedication ceremony was written by Julia D. Smith (standing center back row), member of the Warren Rifles Chapter of the Daughters of Confederate Veterans of Front Royal, Virginia. Mrs. Smith would attend the dedication of the monument and would record the event in a two page, hand written letter that was sent to Miss Helen Turner. In this letter Mrs. Smith writes: "the dinner and headquarters were at the Holliday Inn. They threw out the red carpet in every way. The big dining room was lovely with the decorations of flags of the Southern States. We then stepped out the door to board a bus or fine car furnished us free of charge which transported us to the unveiled monument. The band of youngsters (Gettysburg High School Band) played southern songs until the crowd was seated."
Mrs. Smith continues,
Mrs. Gregory's granddaughter a girl of about 12 dressed in formal attire and Col. May's grandson dressed in Confederate uniform and hat unveiled the monument. Then each of the 11 southern states and 3 borders states Miss. Ky. and Md. presented beautiful wreaths of ivy leaves and red bows on stands. This was done in front of each states flag in a semi-circle."
"Some senator's or assistants to the governor made the presentation speeches. Don't think for one second the South is dead. Even tho it has been invaded by the north. I hope you will go to the park and view the beautiful monument. It was placed overlooking the park and Little Big Top. The sculptor explained the feeling he tried to express and made an inspiring talk."
Above is a photograph of the dedication program sent to Miss Helen Walker by Mrs. Julia Smith (who attened the dedication) from the dedication of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Gettysburg, 1965.
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