Finally in New York City, we took a taxi from Grand Central Terminal to Central Park. The driver dropped us off near 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue. As we got out of the taxi I noticed a statue. Imagine my surprise to discover that it was of Samuel F.B. Morse, whose former house, Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie we had visited just a couple of days earlier.
According to Wikipedia the statue:
…is an outdoor bronze sculpture depicting American painter and inventor Samuel Morse by Byron M. Pickett, located in Central Park in Manhattan, New York. The portrait statue measures 13′ x 5’6″ x 5′ and sits on a Quincy granite pedestal. It was dedicated on June 10, 1871.
I had some difficulty finding more information about Mr. Pickett, but eventually located the following artice: American sculptor Byron M. Pickett is memorialized. The article provides the following information:
Byron sculpted many works, and was well-known during his lifetime as a man of talent and master of his art. One such work was the statue of Samuel F.B. Morse, which stands today at the Inventors’ Gate at New York’s Central Park. Other works include the statue “Patriotism” in Kingston, two monuments at Gettysburg, and a relief portrait of Abraham Lincoln used by the U.S. Post Office in 1911 on a two-cent postal card. In July 1871, there was a dedication for unveiling the Morse statue and newspaper articles tell of all the dignitaries who were present. Two governors and even William Jennings Bryant were amongst thousands of New Yorkers present.
The information I was gifted by the N.Y. Metropolitan Museum of Art was his death record. My contact there was Catherine Mackay, administrative assistant. This record stated he had died in Tenafly, N.J., and was buried at Brookside Cemetery. Steve visited the plot only to discover there was no marker.
Byron seemingly died in obscurity in retirement at the Mary Fisher Home. To honor Byron’s life, I have purchased a marker for him that was placed on his 179th birthday, which was Aug. 3. Rest in peace Byron; this concludes our quest.
Taken with a Sony RX-100 M3
For posts on Samuel Morse’s former home, Locust Grove see:
Locust Grove – Blue Flowers
Locust Grove – Green Barn
Locust Grove – Hudson View
Locust Grove – View from the Lake
Locust Grove – Barn Doors
Locust Grove – Carriage House
Locust Grove – RIP Pinky Winky
Locust Grove – Detail of a Wrought Iron Container
Locust Grove – The House