The artist who created the statue for the Lincoln Memorial, John Harvard in Harvard Yard, and The Minute Man in Concord, Massachusetts, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) is America's best-known sculptor of public monuments. Monument Man is the first comprehensive biography of this fascinating figure and his illustrious career. Full of rich detail and beautiful archival photographs, Monument Man is a nuanced study of a preeminent artist whose evolution ran parallel to, and deeply influenced, the development of American sculpture, iconography, and historical memory.
Monument Man was specially commissioned by Chesterwood / National Trust for Historic Preservation. The release will coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Chesterwood, his country home and studio, as a public site and with a major renovation of the Lincoln Memorial. The book includes a comprehensive geographical guide to French's public work.
This beautifully written, impeccably resesrched biography does much to resuscitate French's substantial contributions to American art.
Wall Street Journal
It is a thing as rare as it is welcome--an authoritative book about a visual artist that is both well written and jargon free, and that seamlessly addresses a professional audience as well as the general reader. Just such a book is what the historian Harold Holzer has given us in Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French.
From French's New England upbringing to his death at his beloved Chesterwood estate and studio...Holzer leaves no stone unturned.
The Objective Standard
Monument Man puts French's life in context and shows how he grew from an indifferent student to a world-renowned artist before his death in 1931.
The Christian Science Monitor
It's a conundrum: the most instantly recognizable sculpture by an American--the colossal marble Abraham Lincoln reigning over the Lincoln Memorial in Washington--was created by an artist few people can name. Harold Holzer's Monument Man: The Life and Art of Daniel Chester French aims to correct this art history deficit....As Holzer says, speaking of French's crowning masterpiece, the sculpture of Lincoln, The artist, the subject, and the hour had met. The same might be said of Holzer....[His] scholarship is impeccable.
The New Criterion
[Monument Man] is a wonderful book, both an important chronicle of the moment when American sculpture reached its first maturity and a biography that brings the man, his art, and and his time vividly to life.
[M]agisterial...Just as French was an apt sculptor for his famed subjects, we, as readers, are fortunate to have French's story told to us by Harold Holzer.
Until now no one has offered the extensive research and analysis on the prolific sculptor that Holzer does in Monument Man...A phenomenal book...
Civil War News
[An] exceptional book by Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer...[T]hirteen well-crafted chapters chronicling the long life and prolific career of Danial Chester French.
New Hampshire Union Leader
Through his lively narrative, Holzer weaves the fascinating story of a modest and sometimes enigmatic artist.