Olive Risley Seward


This 1971 statue, which stands in the front garden of a private house at North Carolina Avenue and 6th Street on Capitol Hill in Washington, is of Olive Risley Seward. The sculptor, John Cavanaugh, wanted to commemorate a member of the family of William H. Seward, secretary of state from 1861 to 1869, and he chose Seward’s daughter Olive. She faces towards Seward Square, named for her father. The story goes that there were no portraits of Olive in existence, so Cavanaugh sculpted a generic Victorian woman. Some years later, a photograph of Olive surfaced, and it turned out that he had, in fact, created a statue that was like her.


2 Responses to Olive Risley Seward

  1. Annie says:

    It’s just lovely that you post this statue picture on the same day as Wellington, New Zealand posted one. I think it’d be nice if all our dailyphoto blogs would find a memorial to show one day.

  2. Passante says:

    And I just realized that by coincidence, I also posted a statue photo and story on my other blog, Passante’s World!

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