Collection Corner: It’s a Lukeman
What do New York’s Prospect Park, the New Hampshire State Capital, Princeton University and Stone Mountain all have in common with Hills & Dales Estate? They all feature a statue or monument carved by Henry Augustus Lukeman.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1872, Lukeman studied in New York and Europe and trained under well-known American sculptors Launt Thompson and Daniel Chester French. His early work, in collaboration with French, included the Pulitzer Prize gold medal and the famous sixty-five-foot-tall statue of “The Republic,” a central feature of the 1893 Chicago Exhibition. After opening his own studio in the early 1900s Lukeman became known for monuments, portrait busts, bas-reliefs and ornamental sculpture. He was commissioned to create sculptures of many notable Americans, including Kit Carson, and Presidents Franklin Pierce and William McKinley.
In 1926 Lukeman was commissioned to complete the Confederate Memorial in Stone Mountain, Georgia, after the original sculptor Gutzon Borglum quit and moved on to carve Mount Rushmore. Lukeman removed all of Borglum’s work and redesigned the bas-relief sculpture but stopped work in 1928 when funds ran out. While it was not completed until some thirty-five years after Lukeman’s death, it remains one of his most well-known works.
While working at Stone Mountain Lukeman was hired to create a portrait bust of Fuller E. Callaway who passed away in February of 1928. He originally created a bronze casting from a plaster mold, and then completed a Carrara marble bust in 1929 that is perhaps the best depiction of Mr. Callaway. The marble bust was displayed in the library of the Callaway home until 1961 when it was moved to the newly constructed Callaway Mills office building. After the mills were sold to Milliken in 1968 it was put in storage until the early 1980s when it was displayed at Troup County Archives. Some forty years after leaving Hills & Dales it returned in 2005 and became the central feature in the new visitor center and a tribute to two great men.
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