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The Rainbow Division Reach the Royal Academy

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Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Rainbow Division Reach the Royal Academy

This very impressive new statue has arrived at the courtyard of the Royal Academy in London's Piccadilly. I thought at first it it must be by Charles Sargeant Jagger, but somehow it seemed too contemporary.


The new work  is actually by James Butler RA and has only recently been cast, though its subject and style are much older.

It is a memorial that has been commisioned in honor of the Alabama 167, the Iowa 168th and the 42nd Rainbow Division  for their deeds in the WWI Battle of the Marne, July 25-26, 1918 in which the Germans were defeated and compelled to retreat.   The Croix Rouge Farm Foundation, Montgomery, Alabama, sponsored the statue. It will be dedicated on November 12, 2011 at the Croix Rouge Farm memorial, in France.

The Rainbow Division, full name the 42nd Infantry Division,  is still a division of the National Guard and United States Army. Douglas MacArthur, once Chief of Staff of the 42ID, is often credited with the naming it. Regiments from 26 different states were rapidly drawn together in August 1917 to form the Division and  MacArthur said "Fine, that will stretch over the whole country like a rainbow." More here.

As the work will only be temporarily available to view in London, as part of The Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, it is well worth making the effort to see it soon. If you do miss it, there are several other permanent James Butler's in London, including the Memoria lto the Fleet Air Arm's Daedalus on The Embankment and his statue of James Greathead, the Grahamstown born, tunnelling Pioneer in Cornhill, or I would suggest it is well worth getting the Eurostar on, or after, November the 12th..

Update: 18th May For a full history and many more photos of the sculpture's creation visit the Croix Rouge Farm Foundation Pages here.

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2 Comments:

At 18 May 2011 at 00:03 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to know more about the history of the memorial and the making of the sculpture, visit http://croixrougefarm.org/

 
At 18 May 2011 at 05:16 , Blogger Peter Berthoud said...

Thank you for this excellent link, so many photos of the sculpture from initial drawings through clay modelling, casting and delivery. A great background history and information about the Foundation.

 

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