Lady Baltimore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

September 21, 2013

A New Home for Lady Baltimore 
Preparations Underway to Move Iconic Statue to The Maryland Historical Society in October


BALTIMORE, September, 2013 - Lady Baltimore, the eight-foot female figure perched atop The Battle Monument in downtown Baltimore, will soon have a new home. After years of restoration efforts, negotiations are underway to move the original marble statue to an environmentally friendly location for its preservation at The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS). The MdHS is working closely with Baltimore City's Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation (CHAP) and The Mayor's Office to install the statue and host a joint unveiling celebration in mid-October, 2013.

Lady Baltimore
A Bird's Eye View of Lady Baltimore, courtesy S.A.T


The Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation, CHAP, is administering the Battle Monument and Lady Baltimore legacy conservation project. Through CHAP, Baltimore created the nation's first comprehensive program for stewardship of its publicly-owned outdoor monuments. In 2011, CHAP completed the first phase of restoration of the architectural elements of the Battle Monument. The 2012-2013 phase of the project includes the preservation of Lady Baltimore by moving her to an indoor museum setting, the installation of the sculpted reproduction of Lady Baltimore atop the Battle Monument and the reconstruction of the four Griffons. The restoration and conservation work is being completed by Conservator of Fine Arts, Steven Tatti, Inc. with Crump & Kwash Manufacturing LLC.

Kathleen Kotarba, CHAP Executive Director, expressed. "We are privileged to serve the people of Baltimore by preserving this national treasure. The City's current restoration of the Battle Monument is dedicated to the memory of Baltimore's patriots of the War of 1812. We are thrilled to work in partnership with the Maryland Historical Society to preserve and showcase Lady Baltimore for future generations." Fort McHenry, the Battle Monument, the Maryland Historical Society and other Baltimore historic sites are major attractions during the 2012-2014 "National Star Spangled Banner Celebration."

Battle Monument Engraving
Benjamin Tanner's engraving of the Battle Monument- 1816

Scaffolding is currently being constructed around the Battle Monument (located at Calvert and E Fayette Streets, Baltimore) to facilitate the move. The Battle Monument has seen several major restorations, including one most recently in 2011 by Steven Tatti and his conservation team at S.A.T. Inc. They casted molds of the monument's sculpted works, which will be put into place after the original Lady Baltimore statue is moved. This will offer future generations the joy of seeing the Monument as it has appeared in the City for almost 200 years.

Plans call for the statue to be moved to the Maryland Historical Society in October 2013. Lady Baltimore weighs 2,750 lbs and will placed into a cage and carefully lowered from the Battle Monument. At the same time, the reproduction will go up in her place.

The original Lady Baltimore will be transported by The George Young Company to The Maryland Historical Society, located at 201 W. Monument Street. Once there, she will be installed atop a 500 lb steel-reinforced platform in the 2nd floor Gallery of the Beard Pavilion. Passersby on Park Ave. will be able to view the 8' statue through the floor to ceiling windows. At night, she will be illuminated.

Burt Kummerow, President of the Maryland Historical Society, commented, "Although Lady Baltimore is going inside for her own protection, she will remain a beacon for the city only two blocks from another early Baltimore icon, the 1815 George Washington Monument."

This marks the first time visitors to will be able to see Lady Baltimore 'up close,' and evidence of the environmental toll that Time has taken is apparent. Almost two centuries of wind, rain and pollution have taken a toll on her features and storms have blown off both of her arms. Alongside the statue, a future exhibit will document the relocation process and interpret the history of the Battle Monument as well as its significance for 1812-era America.

Alexandra Deutsch, the Society Chief Curator, is impressed with Lady Baltimore's relationship to the museum and library's other bicentennial efforts. "She really is the culmination of all trials, tribulations and successes of that 1812 generation. Lady Baltimore is a superb compliment to our bicentennial exhibits and programs."

About The Battle Monument

The Baltimore Battle Monument is extraordinary for many reasons. It is the official emblem of the City of Baltimore, having been adopted for the city seal in 1827. For that reason, the image of the Battle Monument is seen everywhere, on City buildings, signs and printed materials, park benches and police badges. The Monument commemorates all thirty-nine Baltimoreans who died in the 1814 Battle of Baltimore.

About Lady Baltimore

The female figure on the top of the Battle Monument symbolizes Baltimore. She wears a crown of victory and holds a laurel wreath, a symbol of glory, in her raised hand. Her lowered hand holds a rudder, symbolic of navigation and stability. She faces the harbor, a source of Baltimore's prosperity and fortune.

Interestingly, her two current arms are "prosthetic" and created by two of Baltimore's most important sculptors: The reproduced raised arm is the work of Hans Schuler and the reproduced lowered arm is the work of Rueben Kramer. Both original arms had to be replaced due to storm damage and deterioration over many years.

The Battle Monument was designed by Maximilian Godefroy, who also designed the St. Mary's Seminary Chapel (1806), the Unitarian Church (1819), and tombs in the Westminster Burial Ground (cemetery where Poe is buried) among other buildings in Baltimore. Born in France, Godefroy was among the most important architects to work in Baltimore during the first half of the 19th century. He was also a civil engineer and worked on the fortifications at Fort McHenry. It is believed that one reason why he received the Battle Monument commission is there was a general feeling of guilt that his hard work at Fort McHenry was not properly recognized or compensated. In any case, images of his extraordinary war memorial almost immediately appeared upon its completion (Benjamin Tanner's 1816 engraving) and received publicity nationwide.

The figure on the top of the monument, the griffins, and the two reliefs on the shaft are by Antonio Capellano, and are among the oldest existing monumental sculptures in the nation. Capellano was a student of the famous Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova and also completed reliefs at First Unitarian and St. Paul's Churches.

Burt Kummerow believes that the Maryland Historical Society will be a great new home for Lady Baltimore. "Although we have a statewide reach, the Society has always had a very special relationship with the Monumental City. Lady Baltimore will be surrounded by the best collection of 1812 era documents and artifacts in the state. We have essential research information on how the Battle Monument was created. Inscribed with the names of everyone who died in the Battle of Baltimore, it became the nation's first "democratic" monument."

Hours/Admission
Museum hours are Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., General admission to the Maryland Historical Society is $9 for adults, $7 seniors, $6 for students and children ages 3-18 and free for children under 3. For more information, visit www.mdhs.org

About The Maryland Historical Society

Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society's mission is to "collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland's diverse cultural heritage." The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled "Maryland Historical Magazine." The Society is located at 201 W. Monument Street and open to the public Wednesday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm, and Sunday (museum only) 12 pm-5pm. www.mdhs.org  

For more information, contact Marketing Director Laura Rodini at 410-685-3750 ext 322 or lrodini@mdhs.org.