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Preetorius-Schurz-Daenzer Memorial - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Wampa-One
N 38° 36.867 W 090° 14.342
15S E 740389 N 4277609
Quick Description: Located in Compton Hill Reservoir Park, a memorial to three German American newspaper men by the German-American Alliance.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 11/27/2008 10:38:29 AM
Waymark Code: WM58BF
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Pfalzjim
Views: 18

Long Description:
The statue called "The Naked Truth," designated a city landmark in 1969, was controversial before it was even built. It is a memorial to Dr. Emil Preetorius, Carl Schurz and Carl Daenzer, German-American editors of the St. Louis Westliche Post. Adolphus Busch was the major donor, giving $20,000 of the $31,000 cost.

A jury selected a design by sculptor Wilhelm Wandschneider of Berlin. Busch was appalled by the jury’s selection and the controversy over the nudity in the statue prompted great debates. The sculptor refused Busch’s request that the figure be draped. The jury voted 14 to 12 to accept the original design but said the nude figure should be made of a material other than white marble, to de-emphasize the nudity. The figure is made of bronze.

The statue is a nude figure of a woman seated on a stone bench with arms outstretched, holding torches. The figure symbolizes "Truth" and the torches are for the "enlightenment of Germany and the United States." The figure of Truth is of bronze in heroic size. The eyes are painted as in some bronze figures of the Greeks and as in many modern German statues. The inscription on the back of the shaft in incised lettering expressing the devotion of German-American citizens to the country of their adoption. This inscription is repeated in German.

The memorial was a gift to St Louis by the German-American Alliance and was unveiled on May 27, 1914. Construction of Interstate 44 in 1969 reduced the area of Compton Hill Reservoir Park by about one-fourth and necessitated the relocation of the controversial "Naked Truth" statue. It was moved by the Klaric Construction Company at a cost of $15,000. On August 6, 1961, the Water Division turned over the maintenance of the surrounding park to the Parks Department.
~ from City of St. Louis Parks website


Title: The Naked Truth, (sculpture).
Artist: Wandschneider, Wilhelm, 1886-1942, sculptor.
H. Gladenbeck & Sohn, founder.
Pickel Stone Company, contractor.
Dates: 1913. Dedicated May 27, 1914. Relocated 1969.
Medium: Figure: bronze; Stele: red Missouri granite.
Dimensions: Figure: approx. H. 8 ft.; Stele: approx. H. 17 ft.

Inscription: (On east side:) W. Wandschneider (On south side of stele, above figure's head:) SCHURZ PREETORIUS DAENZER (On north side of stele, left panel:) AS GERMAN-AMERICANS AND LEADERS/OF THEIR COMPATRIOTS IN PUBLIC LIFE/IT EVER WAS THEIR LOFTY AIM AND STUDY PURPOSE/TO PROVE TRUE TO THE LAND OF THEIR ADOPTION/AND TO SERVE IT FAITHFULLY AND WELL. INDE/PENDENT CHARACTERS STRIVING WITH/ARDENT ZEAL FOR EVERYTHING THAT IS/GREAT AND BEAUTIFUL IN LIFE, THEY/BROUGHT WITH THEM THE PRECIOUS TREA/SURES OF GERMANIA'S CULTURE AND PLA/CED THEM, A BLESSING FOR ALL COMING GENERATIONS, IN COLUMBIA'S KEEPING./ERECTED BY THEIR GRATEFUL FELLOW CITI/ZENS IN RECOGNITION OF THEIR SERVICES (On north side of stele, center panel:) ERECTED ANNO 1914/BY THE PRETORIUS=SCHURTZ=DAENZER/MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION/ADOLPHUS BUSCH HONORARY PRESIDENT/DR. H. M. STARKLOFF, PRESIDENT/BEN ALTHEIMER, VICE PRESIDENT/AUGUST H. HOFFMAN, TREASURER/WM. C. F. LENZ, SECRETARY/BOARD OF DIRECTORS/DR. F. KOLBRENHEYER, GEO. RUECKOLDT/EDWARD C. KEHR, AUG. VOIGT,/AUG. A. BUSCH, PROF. PETER HERZOG,/J. A. VAL. SCHMIDT, JUDGE JACOB KLEIN,/AUGUST DIEZ, E. G. WINTER, F. W. KECK. (North side of stele, right panel, is inscribed in German) signed

Description: A nude female figure with arms outstretched and a torch in each hand sits on the lower section of a stele that rises up behind her. A piece of cloth is draped over her head and out to each torch. She represents Truth enthroned just a few steps above the ground level of everyday existence. The stele formerly included three bronze medallions above the figure's head. The subjects of the medallions were: Beauty and Culture crossing the Ocean; Fight against baser Instincts; and Flight of Genius.

Condition: Surveyed 1994 January. Treatment needed.
~ from Smithsonian American Art Museum Art Inventories Catalog website (visit link)
Web address or URL for Waymark: [Web Link]

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