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John Quincy Adams Ward was called upon to design the sculptures for the drum of the dome of Richard Upjohn’s revised plan of the Capitol of Connecticut. When first designed in 1872 by Richard Upjohn, the Capitol was intended to have a clock tower. In 1873, construction was halted to permit Upjohn to revise the design to include a dome which public opinion had called for as more appropriate for a legislative building.

The dome was designed to have 12 sides with 12 stained glass windows topped by pointed arches. The top of the dome rises 257 feet above the ground. Upjohn’s project called for twelve allegories of various distinctive aspects of Humanity. John Quincy Adams Ward was called upon to design the sculpture for the drum of the dome. Lack of funds permitted the execution of only six models, so each of the six originals was copied to provide 12 figures. Some of the allegories are ambiguous, representing more than one aspect of humanity, a legacy of the original twelve-part program.

Each plaster model was executed twice, each in blue Carrara marble, to make 12 figures. The plaster models are displayed on the banisters outside the gallery of the House of Representatives inside the Capitol. The models were restored by John Leslie of Guilford in 1990.
The Six Aspects of Humanity finally represented are: Agriculture, holding a sheaf of wheat; Commerce, shielding her eyes and holding an anchor/triangle; Education/Law, holding a scroll; Force/War, holding a spear; Science, with the caduceus, paddle and globe; and Music, with a lyre.

Sources

  • League of Women Voters, "Connecticut State Capitol Statuary," 2007. :