Sir William Blackstone statue
Public Art : Sir William Blackstone statue
Sculptor: © Paul Wayland Bartlett
Description: 9ft , 2,000lb bronze statue of English
legal scholar William Blackstone (10th July, 1723 – 14th February, 1780) . Blackstone is shown in judicial robes,
with a ceremonial wig, holding his Commentaries.
Date Unveiled: The Blackstone statue was cast in
1926 to be erected in London but was eventually unveiled on August 11th, 1943.
Cost : $50,000
Commissioned by: The statue was funded by members of
the American Bar Association (ABA) and was intended as a gift to the people of London.
Location: The statue of Sir William Blackstone
is located outside the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse, at 333 Pennsylvania Avenue
Northwest, Washington, D.C., USA.
Background To Sir William Blackstone statue: In the
1920s the statue was commissioned by members of the American Bar Association (ABA) as a gift to the people of
In 1928 the statue was to be erected in the Middle Temple outside the London chambers where
Blackstone lived and worked but it was moved to the Great Hall of Courts. This was a good move, in hindsight, as
the Middle Temple was bombed by Luftwaffe in 1941. It was later decided that the statue should be given to the
United States. In response the United States provided $10,000 to cover costs.
The statue was initial erected in Judiciary Square in Northwest Washington, D.C., before
being moved to its current location in front of the States Courthouse in 1952.
A smaller version of the statue by the sculptor was given to the English Bar Association in London
as a gift from the American Bar Association.
References : dcmemorialist.com