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Wed, Sep 19, 2018
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It’s a Small World... Kicsi a világ!

Statue of Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy

It’s a Small World... Kicsi a világ!

I have always been fascinated by the Southwest, and had visited Sante Fe, NM a couple of times. Leafing through the book ”Shrines and Wonders – the pilgrim’s guide to Santa Fe and northern New Mexico”, I came upon the factoid that the 7-foot bronze statue of Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy in front of Santa Fe Cathedral, erected in 1915, was designed by an artist named Jenő Juszko. 

With a name like that, what else could the sculptor be but Hungarian?  I had a hard time tracking down information about him, but finally found that he was born in Ungvár in 1880, and came to the US in 1906. In 1913-14, he taught at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Art, and between 1919 and 1924, at the National Academy of Design in New York.  He was a portrait sculptor and also designed medallions and plaques. 

He created a whole series depicting classical composers (Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, etc.), poets and writers (Shakespeare, Longfellow, Dickens, Byron, and so forth), American presidents (Jefferson, Lincoln, U.S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt), medals honoring famous military leaders (Gen. John J. Pershing, Gen. Douglas MacArthur) as well as a multitude of family medals, medals commemorating centennials and historic moments.

He lived in New York City, and during the Depression was one of the artists employed by the Works Progress Administration (known as the WPA).  His bust of Civil War General George Henry Thomas was one of five presented by the WPA to New York City, and was placed in the crypt of General Grant’s tomb at 125th Street on Riverside Drive.

So as you travel on your vaction this summer, be on the lookout for stray Hungarians who just may have created the next historic monument! 

Because ... It’s a Small World!

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