J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Friday, November 04, 2022

Abigail Adams Statue Unveiling in Quincy, 5 Nov.

Back in May, I reported on the city of Quincy’s decision to commission a statue of Abigail Adams to fit with the statues of her husband John Adams and their friend John Hancock in the park near city hall.

The new Abigail Adams statue will be unveiled on Saturday, 5 November, with a public ceremony starting at 11:00 A.M. The scheduled speakers include:
  • Danielle Allen, professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality.
  • Catherine Allgor, president of the Massachusetts Historical Society and author of Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government
The artist commissioned to create all these figures is sculptor Sergey Eylanbekov, a graduate of the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow who now lives on Long Island, New York.

The picture above, by Robert Bosworth for the Quincy Sun, hints at how Eylanbekov portrayed Adams, but one must go to Quincy for the first glimpse of the full figure.

The city also owns an older statue of Abigail Adams and her eldest son, John Quincy Adams, on a different scale by the late Lloyd Lillie. The city plans to install that somewhere in Marrymount Park.

I can’t resist quoting Abigail Adams’s own taste in statuary, from a letter she wrote in 1785 from Paris describing the estate the young U.S. of A. had provided the family as diplomats:
The garden has a number of statues and figures, but there is none which pleases me more than one of a Boy who has robed a bird of her nest of young; which he holds in one hand and in the other the old bird, who has laid hold of his finger with her Bill and is biteing it furiously, so that the countanance of the lad is in great distress between the fear of loosing the young and the pain of his finger.
I looked for statues of that subject and couldn’t find any exact matches.

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