THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CIVIL WAR MEMORIAL
THE SPIRIT OF FREEDOM

Washington, D.C.

The African American Civil War Memorial began in 1992 as a Bill in Congress presented by Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia.  Work began to develop the site and select an artist to design the commemorative art piece.  The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities commissioned The Spirit of Freedom.  The African American Civil War Freedom Foundation, Inc. under the leadership of Frank Smith, Jr. served as a monitoring committee.  The 91/2 bronze consists of a front high bas-relief and lower relief on the backside.  The backside consists of a family group as the soldier, a son, leaves for the war.  The front has three infantry soldiers and a sailor as protectors of the fight for freedom.  It was completed in early 1997 and installed on the two foot high round base on July 16, 1998 and dedicated on July 18, 1998.  It stands at the corner of 10th and U Streets in Washington, DC.  The Spirit of Freedom was cast in Baltimore, Maryland at the New Arts Foundry.  The architects for the project were Devrouax and Purnell Architects and Ed Dunson & Associates, site designer, all of Washington, DC.

 

Each life size, bronze bust shown here is cast in a limited quantity of 25 each. Each is mounted on a marble or limestone base which is 6 inches square

They can be purchased for $12,000 each.
Contact Ed Hamilton

  

 

These three photos were taken at the Second Annual Veterans' Day Celebration on Nov. 11, 1999.  They show the completed setting, with the construction fences removed.

The uniformed men are from the 54th Mass. Volunteer Infantry, Company B. 

These photos are 1999 The African American Civil War Memorial Foundation, and are used by permission.

  

 


 

 

African American Civil War Memorial Chronology of Sculptor Selection

 

October 1992 Hamilton and other artists are invited by the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities to submit materials for consideration in the commissioning of a commemorative sculpture.

 

December 1992 District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities informs Hamilton that he is one of four finalists.

 

May 1993 Hamilton becomes one of two finalists. He is invited to make a presentation to the African American Civil War committee.

 

June 1993 The committee requests that both finalists prepare a design concept for their review. The artists are instructed to include the following written materials with their renderings and/or model: 
1. Statement of purpose 
2. Statement about the materials, dimensions, and finish; and 
3. A preliminary time line to give the committee an idea of how long it would take to create the work from initial design through installation.

 

August 1993 Commission on the Arts and Humanities in D.C. informs Hamilton that he was the committee's first and unanimous choice as finalist for the competition.

 

December 1993 Hamilton receives confirmation from the Commission that he has been awarded an Art in Public Places award.

 

 

HOME | PUBLIC WORKS | MAKING OF MONUMENTS | BIOGRAPHY | THE BIRTH OF AN ARTIST
 LINCOLN - A WORK IN PROGRESSFROM THE OTHER SIDECONTACT ED HAMILTON | LINKS