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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sneak Peek from the Stacks

Women's Titanic Memorial, Sculpture Study Collection

Inspired by the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Titanic disaster, the Research and Scholars Center staff was reminded of an image we have in our Photograph Archives of a memorial that may not be as well known as some of the other historical sculptures around the Nation’s Capital. 

Located a few blocks south on Washington, D.C.’s Southwest waterfront, sits the Woman’s Titanic Memorial. It was designed in 1917 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and completed in 1918, though it wasn’t unveiled to the public until 1931. Honoring the men who sacrificed their lives to save the women and children aboard the Titanic during its historic sinking, the memorial was erected by the Women’s Titanic Memorial Association and was originally located along Rock Creek Parkway. It was later moved to make room for the soon-to-built Kennedy Center, and re-erected on the Southwest waterfront in 1968. Represented as a figure with his arms outstretched, the memorial looks over the Washington Channel and bears the inscription:
                                                          TO THE BRAVE MEN
                                                              WHO PERISHED
                                                               IN THE WRECK
                                                              OF THE TITANIC
                                                               APRIL 15 1912
                                                           THEY GAVE THEIR
                                                         LIVES THAT WOMEN
                                                              AND CHILDREN
                                                            MIGHT BE SAVED

The above image is part of American Art’s Sculpture Study Collection. You can find more images related to the memorial from our archives collection here.

-Rachel Brooks, Research and Scholars Center, American Art Museum

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