Scotland's Flags

Monuments and Memorials
Robert Burns
around the world.

New York Statue

Burns Statue New York

In 1872 a statue of Sir Walter Scott was unveiled in New York's Central Park and, not to be outdone, the Burnsians of that city immediately formed a committee to get a companion figure erected.

Sir John Steell was given the commission and in due course his statue of Burns was unveiled on 2nd October 1880 - the first statue of Burns to be erected outside Scotland.

Steell closely followed the Nasmyth portrait, helped by a cast of the poet's skull. Unusually, the statue shows Burns seated - or rather sprawled - on the fork of an old elm tree, his head thrown back to gaze at the evening star.

His features are supposed to wear an air of intense abstraction, although critics have said that it is a pained expression. The right hand holds a quill-pen as if ready to note down the poetic thoughts suggested by his gaze, while his left arm dangles listlessly. The position of the legs gives the appearance of muscular power in repose. A plough sock lies near the right foot, partly concealed by a scroll bearing lines from 'To Mary in Heaven'

New York Statue

Such was Sir John's pre-eminence that he was very soon commissioned to provide casts of his statue for Dundee, London and Dunedin.

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