Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sculptures of Springfield: The Four Stages of Life

Interesting Places I've Photographed
The Four Stages of Life 
Springfield, MA
Topic: Sculptures of Springfield 

GPS: N42° 04.564; W072° 34.838

Quick Description: 

The Four Stages of Life bas relief panels are located on the Barney commemorative column in the Laurel Hill section of Forest Park in Springfield.

Long Description:

Everett Hosmer Barney made his fortune as a Civil War arms producer and later as a businessman, developing clamp-on ice skates and roller-skates. In 1890 Barney built a Victorian mansion on a hill overlooking the Connecticut River. When he died he bequeathed his estate and an endowment to the City of Springfield to build and maintain a public park, which is now part of Forest Park.

In 1892, Everett Barney constructed an elaborate granite and marble mausoleum for his son on a Laurel Hill, a short distance from his Victorian mansion. He also erected a beautiful granite commemorative column to the west.  It's one of the finest works of art in Springfield. At the base of the column are four bronze bas relief panels created by sculptors Beattie & Brooks representing the four stages of life. They are entitled:

Upper left - “Happy Childhood” - cherub-like children at play, some with flutes

Upper right- “Youthful Dreams” - a young man courting a young woman while another woman sits in a swing

Lower left - “Sturdy Manhood” - three men at labor as blacksmiths

Lower Right - “Life’s Decline”. -  a younger woman helps an old woman in a chair while an old man tends a fireplace

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