Felix de Weldon (American 1907-2003) The original plaster maquette for the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington 1946
One of a small number of plaster maquettes made up in 1946-48, perhaps 4 or more, this one recovered from de Weldon's studio in Washington by the War Museum, and was probably used by de Weldon as the model for the Arlington Memorial. A plaster maquette was taken into Congress to be shown to the House before Congressional approval, in the unanimous vote in 1946 to support the building of a new Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington. Rather than a heavier 4 foot maquette made for the first 1945 monument, de Weldon decided that a more portable version would be more practicable. The newly agreed form of the Memorial has a definite change from the earlier monument, in that de Weldon decided to move the front figure, swinging the lead man to the right, so that the direction of the hips and shoulders became more closely aligned to the other 5 men, and closing out the gap between the lead flag planter and the other 5 flag raisers. He repositioned the arms so as to draw the lead man back towards the flag pole, in so doing giving the image, a unity of action and forward motion that was more dramatic. De Weldon said that he felt that the change made the Memorial 'more symbolic of the whole war effort of the strain and work, and the will to sacrifice'.
With 8 period photographs of the maquette in the Washington studio. 5 with the maquette bronzed and on a higher mound; and a fine example of the dedication program for the memorial, November 10, 1954.
Height 22 in. (without flag)
Length 26 in.
Width 14 in.
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