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Maker(s):Rogers, John
Culture:American (1829-1904)
Title:Union Refugees
Date Made:1863
Measurements:Overall: 22 1/2 in x 13 in x 10 in; 57.1 cm x 33 cm x 25.4 cm
Accession Number:  AC 1949.2
Credit Line:Gift of William Macbeth, Inc.
Museum Collection:  Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

Civil War

Label Text:
Here, Salem, Massachusetts, native John Rogers depicts a family loyal to the Union displaced from its “slave state” home during the American Civil War. Rogers modeled the bodies of the husband, mother, and son (who recall Joseph, Mary, and Jesus) as overlapping and flowing into one another, indicating their unit cohesion. The group’s concave arrangement bespeaks self-protection; the composition’s heavy swags of drapery and deep folds echo their mournful expressions. The sculptor likely derived the subject from frequent reports in Northern periodicals highlighting the plight of innocents fleeing the “rebels.”

Union Refugees, originally made in clay, was one of Rogers’ most ambitious and successful works. Although most of his sculptures were reproduced in cheap (and fragile) plaster to reach a wide market, he proudly cast this composition in bronze.

RRG, 2009

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