Thomas Gibson Crawford (Thomas Gibson Crawford)

Thomas Gibson Crawford

Artist/Sculptor. Born in New York City, the son of Aaron & Mary (Gibson) Crawford. At the age of 19 he entered into the New York City studios of Frazer and Launitz, artists and artificers in marble. In 1834 he went abroad to promote his artistic studies. His first ideal work was a group of Orpheus and Cerberus, executed in 1839, and purchased, some years later, for the Boston Athenaeum, and now displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This was followed by a succession of groups, single figures, and bas-reliefs, among these are Adam and Eve and a bust of Josiah Quincy, in 1900 in the Boston Athenaeum; Hebe and Ganymede, presented to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts by C. C. Perkins, and a bronze statue of Beethoven, presented by the same gentleman to the Boston Music Hall, which now resides at the New England Conservatory; Babes in the Wood, in the Lenox Library; Mercury and Psyche; Flora, now in the gallery of the late Mrs. A. T. Stewart; an Indian girl; Dancing Jenny, modelled from his own daughter; and a statue of James Otis, which once adorned the chapel at Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge. In 1838, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Honorary Academician.  In 1844, he married to Louisa Cutler Ward, a sister of Julia Ward Howe, and by her had four children, including the writers Francis Marion Crawford and Mary Crawford Fraser. In 1849, he received from the state of Virginia an order for a monument to be erected in Richmond. He immediately returned to Rome and began the work, of which the design was a star of five rays, each one of these bearing a statue of some historic Virginian, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson among the number. The work is surmounted by a platform, on which stands an equestrian statue of George Washington. These statues, modeled in Rome, were cast at a Munich foundry. His most important works after these were ordered by the federal government for the United States Capitol at Washington. First among these was a marble pediment bearing life-size figures symbolical of the progress of American civilization; next in order came a bronze figure Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace which surmounts the dome; and last of these, and of his life-work, was a bronze door on which are modelled various scenes in the public life of Washington. Prominent among Thomas’s works was also his statue of an Indian chief, much admired by the English sculptor Gibson, who proposed that a bronze copy of it should be retained in Rome as a lasting monument. Thomas’s health failed under the pressure of the great public works, he died in London. (bio by: Shock)  Family links:  Spouse:  Louisa Cutler Ward Terry (1823 – 1897)


  • March, 22, 1813
  • USA


  • October, 10, 1857
  • England


  • Green-Wood Cemetery
  • USA

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