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Identification:

Preferred Structure Name:
Masaryk, Tomáš Garrigue - Statue - Res. 57
Structure Number:
5700000
Other Structure Name(s):
 
Other Structure Name(s)
No records.
Park:
National Mall & Memorial Parks
Park District:
NAMA Miscellaneous Reservations
Historic District:
 
Historic District
1. 
Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District
Structure State:
District of Columbia
Structure County:
Washington
Region:
National Capital
Administrative Unit:
National Mall & Memorial Parks
LCS ID:
260292
 
Historical Significance:

National Register Status:
Entered - Documented
National Register Date:
11/05/2001
National Historic Landmark?:
No
Significance Level:
National
Short Significance Description:
This structure, though less than 50 years old, meets the criteria for listing in the LCS as nationally significant, because it was created as a national memorial by Congress through H.R. 1161 and signed into law on 11/5/2001. (This date was used as the NR date above)
Long Significance Description:
This structure commemorates Tomáš G. Masaryk, first President of Czechoslovakia and author of the Czech Declaration of Independence.

That a statue of the liberator and first president of Czechoslovakia is located in Washington, D.C. is easily understood when one learns of his associations with the city. Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1850-1937), scholar and statesman, taught at several American universities and sought support from the Czech and Slovak peoples for independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Masaryk married an American, Charlotte Garrigue, taking her maiden name as his middle name. He became close to American leaders including President Woodrow Wilson, and completed the Czechoslovak Declaration of Independence in Washington in October 1918.

Masaryk organized a Czechoslovak army to fight alongside the allies in World War I. After independence, he became the first president of this new model democracy in Central Europe. His administration is rememebered for its morality and its adherence to democratic ideals.

The statue, designed by Vincenc Makovsky in 1937, was sculpted from life in the Masaryk's last year. Long housed in the National Gallery in Prague, it was not cast into bronze until 1968, the year of the tumultous "Spring of Freedom" in Prague. Never publicly displayed in Czechoslovakia, it was donated to the people of the United States by the Czech Republic. Erected in a park in Washington designed by Roger Courtney, ASLA (and still incomplete at the time of the survey), it was dedicated on 19 September 2002 by Václav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, Michal Ková-269;, former President of the Slovak Republic, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright,

Authorized Nov. 5, 2001(P.L. 107-61, 115 Stat. 410).
 
Construction Period:

Construction Period:
Historic
Chronology:
 
Physical Event
Begin Year
Begin Year AD/BC
End Year
End Year AD/BC
Designer
Designer Occupation
1. 
Designed
1937
AD
1937
AD
Makovsky, Vincenc
Sculptor
2. 
Built
1968
AD
1968
AD

Other
3. 
Built
2002
AD
2002
AD
Courtenay, Roger G.
Landscape Architect
 
Function and Use:

Primary Historic Function:
Outdoor Sculpture (Statuary)
Primary Current Use:
Outdoor Sculpture (Statuary)
Structure Contains Museum Collections?:
No
Other Functions or Uses:
 
Other Function(s) or Use(s)
Historic or Current
No records.
 
Physical Description:

Structure Type:
Outdoor Sculpture
Volume:
1 - 2,000 cubic feet
Square Feet:
25
Material(s):
 
Structural Component(s)
Material(s)
1. 
Substructure
Granite
2. 
Superstructure
Bronze
Short Physical Description:
The bronze statue portrays Masaryk in 1937 as a standing figure clutching his homburg hat in his hand. The approximately 14' statue is mounted on a 4' polished black granite base with incised gold-lettered inscriptions on all sides.
Long Physical Description:
The bronze statue portrays Masaryk in 1937 as a standing figure clutching his homburg hat in his hand. The approximately 14' statue is mounted on a 4' polished black granite base with incised gold-lettered inscriptions on all sides. Sculpted from life in the final year of Masaryck's life, the statue portrays him as an elderly gentleman, his head slightly bowed in contemplation while he grasps his hat in his hands. The statue rests on a 4' polished black granite base with inscriptions in incised letters on all sides.

The inscription on the front or east side reads: TOMAS GARRIGUE MASARYK / 1850-1937 / PROFESSOR, CREATOR OF A DEMOCRACY AND / CHAMPION OF LIBERTY / PRESIDENT OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA / 1918-1935.

The south side has a quote from former U.S. President George H. W. Bush delivered at Wenceslas Square in Prague in November 1990: SEVEN DECADES AGO, AN UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP BEGAN BETWEEN TWO / PRESIDENTS, THE PHILOSOPHER, TOMAS MASARYK, AND THE IDEALISTIC SCHOLAR, / WOODROW WILSON. IT WAS A PARTNERSHIP AS WELL AMONG CZECHS AND / SLOVAKS TO JOIN TOGETHER IN FEDERATION. AND, YES, IT WAS A LONG, HARD ROAD / FROM THEIR WORK ON YOUR DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE TO THIS / MAGNIFICENT CELEBRATION TODAY. I AM PROUD TO WALK THESE LAST STEPS WITH YOU AS ONE / SHARED JOURNEY ENDS AND A NEW ONE BEGINS.

The west side simply reads: PRESENTED AS A GIFT TO / THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA / FROM / THE CZECH REPUBLIC / AND / AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC / SEPTEMBER 19, 2002.

On the north side is an excerpt from the Declaration of Czechoslovakia, delivered by Masaryk in Independence Square, Philadelphia, on 26 October 1918: WE ACCEPT THE AMERICAN PRINCIPLES AS LAID DOWN BY PRESIDENT WILSON: / THE PRINCIPLES OF LIBERATED MANKIND, OF THE ACTUAL EQUALITY OF NATIONS, / AND OF GOVERNMENT DERIVING ALL THEIR JUST POWER FROM THE CONSENT / OF THE GOVERNED.