About this artwork
Thomas Ball modeled Daniel Webster prior to receiving his first formal training in sculpture. A Massachusetts native, Ball admired the great orator and was inspired to create this full-length statuette a year after Webster’s death. Despite the mid-19th-century taste for Neoclassicism, Ball rendered his figure with decided naturalism. Webster stands assuredly with his right hand tucked Napoleon-like into his lapel, yet Ball likewise portrayed the senator’s rumpled clothing and round waistline. A commercial success, Daniel Webster was one of the earliest sculptures in the U.S. to be patented and mass-produced. The artwork later inspired two monumental versions, one of which stands in Central Park in New York.
- Thomas Ball (Sculptor)
- Daniel Webster
- Incised at back of drapers: "T Ball Sculpt/Boston Mass/1853/Patent assigned to / C W Nichols"
- 76.2 × 30.4 × 27.9 cm (30 × 12 × 11 in.)
- Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray