e g r e g o r e s

"Graciously bestow upon all men felicity, the summit of which is the knowledge of the Gods." [Julian, Oration to the Mother of the Gods]

American Idol: The Goddess of Freedom

Sitting atop the US Capitol building is an extraordinary sculpture by Thomas Crawford:Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace. The statue weighs in at fifteen thousand pounds, was completed in 1862, installed in 1863, taken down for restoration and repairs in May of 1993, and returned to the top of the Capitol in October of that year. More about the “Statue of Freedom” (as she is now “officially” known) can be found here.

A full-size plaster replica of the statue is also on view at the US Capitol Visitor’s Center, where it is very prominent. This is a good thing, since the bronze original is almost 300 feet in the air.

Thomas Crawford was a New York City native and an Irish-American. By the age of 21, though, he had taken up residence in Rome, where he lived for the rest of his life. The “classical”, that is, Pagan, influence on Crawford’s work is so obvious that it almost seems silly to point it out. Other of Crawford’s works draw explicitly on Pagan themes, such as Orpheus and Cerberus, and Paris Presenting the Golden Apple. Other works depict the plight of the indigenous population of the Americas, such as Dying Indian Chief, and Mexican Girl Dying.

I finally found a place that sells affordable ($36+S&H) replicas of Crawford’s Goddess of Freedom, as I prefer to call her. And it is the likeliest place you could think of: The United States Capitol Historical Society. Mine arrived in the mail yesterday! One never really knows how a 9 inch “replica” of a 20 foot tall statue is going to look until one sees it up close. In this case, despite my very high hopes, I was not in the least disappointed. She is truly magnificent. In my opinion, every red-blooded American idolator should have one!

One response to “American Idol: The Goddess of Freedom

  1. Erik July 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    Yep! I have that very replica on my Libertas shrine, along with a small US flag and a replica of the Liberty Bell… I need to add a copy of Scripture (the Declaration of Independence) still… I also would love to add a replica of the Tiananmen Square “Goddess of Democracy” statue if I could find one; if you know of any such, please share!

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