Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Not a Statuesque First Lady

A statue of Julia Dent Grant—wife of President Ulysses S. Grant—erected in Galena, Illinois, is receiving tepid reviews. The man who conceived of the tribute thinks the head should be "lopped off and redone," and the locals, too, are unimpressed.

They complain that the statue is imposing, unshapely and out of proportion, with a head that is too big and arms that are too small. Around town, the popular nickname for the statue is "Mrs. Butterworth," because it resembles the matronly shaped bottle of that brand of syrup.
Great-great-grandson Ulysses Grant Dietz thinks his stocky, cross-eyed, slave-owning ancestor deserves better.
Dietz said his ancestor was a warm person with a sunny personality whose support was crucial to her husband's success. None of that shines through in the statue, Dietz said. "It didn't strike me as a statue that was either flattering or beautiful in itself and possibly not the best way to honor her," he said. [Link]

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