Abraham Lincoln Related
Stereoview “The Council of War” Statue by John Rogers
c. 1868, Stereoview Photograph, “The Council of War.” Statue by John Rogers, Choice Very Fine.
c. 1868 original Albumen Stereoview Photograph of the Rogers Group Statue titled, “The Council of War”, measuring 7” x 3.25”. Featuring full figure depictions of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. The mount features identifies the image as part of a series titled “Rogers Groups” and there is text below the right hand image that reads “No. 272 - The Council of War”. This wonderful Advertising Photograph is likely the most desirable of the Civil War Statues produced by John Rogers. Here Rogers recreated one of the most important meetings of the Civil War.
In planning this group, Rogers sought the advice of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton who, in a letter to a relative of Rogers and dated May 7, 1867, recounted one of Lincoln's most important war councils; "General Grant after returning from his first visit to the Army of the Potomac, laid before the President the plan of operations he proposed to adopt (for 1864). This was at the War Department, and the group (should) embrace the three figures of the President, Secretary of War and General Grant. It would require no accessories but a roll or map in the hands of the General." Rogers followed Stanton's advice except that the map is held by the President.
John Rogers was a prominent American sculptor of the second half of the nineteenth century. The popularity of his work was unprecedented among American sculptors; between 1860 and 1893 he sold approximately eighty-thousand works. His success has been credited to his keen marketing as well as to his passion for addressing themes close to the heart of middle class Americans.
Rogers eschewed classical sculpture styles and instead produced extremely detailed, narrative sculpture groups that focused on themes of everyday American life, popular literature, and the Civil War. Cast in plaster in order to be affordable, the Rogers Groups were renowned for their wit, humor, and sentimentality. We have found two different references that place the number of existent examples of “Council of War” statues at approx. 60, many of which are in Museum and Institutional collections.