The Council of War
24 x 14 3/4 x 13 in.
Base, recto center edge: THE COUNCIL OF WAR
Base, recto top left: JOHN ROGERS / NEW YORK
Base, verso top right: PATENTED / MARCH 31, 1868
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds from the Ruth Carter Stevenson Acquisitions Endowment
During the mid-to-late 19th century, Rogers produced small sculptures in inexpensive materials such as plaster and terra-cotta. He sold his art through mail-order catalogs—this piece cost $25—and he was one of the few sculptors of his era who marketed their work directly to middle-class buyers.
Completed three years after the conclusion of the Civil War, The Council of War portrays three architects of the Northern effort conferring on strategy: General Ulysses S. Grant, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, and President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln examines a map, his long legs crossed beneath his chair. Stanton and Grant stand nearby; the secretary polishes his glasses, absorbed in a moment of thought. The scene is informal, almost casual, less about the conflict and more about the relationships between the three men. Lincoln’s son Robert later claimed that it was the most true-to-life sculpture of his father.
—Text taken from the Carter Handbook (2023).