Daniel Chester French

"The Clark Memorial"

Daniel Chester French's "Clark Memorial" is one of his most unusual monuments as it is cut in long, low relief. Set overlooking a hill, its length and setting are quite striking as can be seen from the photos below. It was completed in 1894.

French often used angels in his monuments and the Clark Memorial is no exception. However, this monument is unique in that it features low relief images of two children as angels. Hands clasped together in prayer, the angels were modeled after French's daughter, Margaret, who was five years old at the time.

The Clark Memorial is decorated with names of Clark family members as well as an incription in relief which is along the top of the monument:

O Death where is thy sting, O grave where is thy victory
Them that sleep in Jesus shall God bring with him

While not one of French's most well known monuments, the Clark Memorial is certainly one of his most poetic, and the images of the children as angels have a serenity and "softness" which is truly beautiful.

The Clark Memorial is located in Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, near Boston.

All photos below were taken by Douglas Yeo in March 2003.

The "Clark Memorial in situ, shown from the right side.

The "Clark Memorial" in situ, shown from the left side.

A close up view of the angel on the left end of the "Clark Memorial."

A close up view of the angel on the right end of the "Clark Memorial." Note the subtle differences between the two angels: the angel on left with long hair is looking upward and the angel on the right, with short hair, is bowed.

A garland in relief makes up the center panel of the "Clark Memorial."

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