Monuments (Removed) - PhMuseum

Monuments (Removed)

Allison Stewart

2017 - Ongoing

The monuments and memorials we build are a reflection of who we are as a society. They are sites of historical memory. They tell us who the heroes are and who holds power in our communities. As our historical memories change over time so do the landscape of monuments and memorials. The recent removal of monuments has become part of the greater discussion about racism and representation in America.

The majority of these removed monuments were commissioned by private historical societies and wealthy philanthropists before public committee meetings became standard procedure for approving monuments in public spaces, including parks, universities, and on courthouse grounds. In 1878 The United Daughters of the Confederacy began commissioning confederate monuments across the United States as part of the creation of the Lost Cause narrative, with the most monuments and memorials erected during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Eras. They continue this program today. In 2017 The UDC dedicated a new plaque for the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway at the Horton Plaza Park in downtown San Diego, California.

The process of removal for monuments on public land can be difficult. Governors and mayors do not have the sole authority to remove public monuments. The city council is often responsible but beginning in 2000, state laws started being passed that restrict or prohibit the removal or alteration of public monuments. Many of the monuments removed by protesters were in litigation at the time of their removal. The Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission and community members had been protesting the Christopher Columbus statue in front of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles through activism and education for over 25 years prior to its removal. Conversations continue over the fate of these monuments, whether they should be removed or moved, destroyed or contextualized, and what, if anything, should take its place. As the dialogue on removal and deaccession continues the empty spaces become opportunities for communities to discuss, heal, and to re-envision public space.

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  • Removed confederate monument at Boone County Courthouse.

    Donated to the city by the United Daughters of the Confederacy 1935.

    Installed at University of Missouri 1935,
    Moved to Boone County Courthouse 1975,
    Removed 2015.

    The Boone County Commission moved Confederate Rock in response to an online petition seeking its removal from government property.

  • Removed Robert E. Lee, Lee Circle, New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Donated by The Robert E. Lee Monument Association.

    Installed 1884,
    Removed 2017.

    Lee was against building monuments to him and the confederacy, stating in a letter to the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association. “I think it wiser, moreover, not to keep open the sores of war but to follow the examples of those nations who endeavored to obliterate the marks of civil strife, to commit to oblivion the feelings engendered.”

    The Robert E. Lee Monument Association was formed after Lee’s death in 1870 and is still in operation.

  • Removed Junipero Serra Ventura, California.

    Commissioned by the Works Progress Administration as part of the Federal Art Project.

    Installed 1936,
    Removed 2020.

    The monument stood in front of the Ventura County Courthouse on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Chumash People.

  • Removed Jefferson Davis monument, New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

    Installed 1911,
    Removed 2017.

    The dedication event was a Whites Only ceremony that included children dressed in red, white, and blue, creating a Confederate living battle flag and singing Dixie. The dedication date corresponds with the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of Jefferson Davis as President of the Confederate States of America.

  • Removed Battle of Liberty Place memorial, New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Commissioned by the government of the City of New Orleans.

    Installed 1891,
    Removed 2017.

    This inscription was added in 1932:
    “McEnery and Penn having been elected governor and lieutenant-governor by the white people, were duly installed by this overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers, Governor Kellogg (white) and Lieutenant-Governor Antoine (colored). United States troops took over the state government and reinstated the usurpers but the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state.”

  • Removed PGT Beauregard monument, New Orleans, Louisiana.

    Donated by the Beauregard Monument Association.

    Installed 1915,
    Removed 2017.

    The Beauregard Monument Association was organized in New Orleans, La., February 21st, 1893, incorporated February 23rd, 1893, to raise funds for the erection of a monument commemorative of General G.T. Beauregard. The monument stood at the main entrance to City Park, on Beauregard Circle.

  • Removed James Stephen Hogg monument, University of Texas, Austin Texas.

    Commissioned and donated by University of Texas regent George W. Littlefield.

    Installed at University of Texas Littlefield Fountain 1919,
    Moved to the South Mall 1933,
    Removed 2017.

    UT’s president had the four statues that lined the South Mall removed after Charlottesville made it clear “Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

  • Removed Junipero Serra Los Angeles, California.

    Installed by the Knights of Columbus.

    Installed 1932,
    Removed 2020.

    The monument stood in Father Serra Park, near the Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monumenton the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Yaavitam people, part of the Gabrieleño Tongva and the Fernandeño Tataviam Nations.

  • Removed John Reagan monument, University of Texas, Austin Texas.

    Commissioned and donated by University of Texas regent George W. Littlefield.

    Installed at University of Texas Littlefield Fountain 1919,
    Moved to the South Mall 1933,
    Removed 2017.

    UT’s president had the four statues that lined the South Mall removed after Charlottesville made it clear “Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

  • Removed Christopher Columbus, Los Angeles, California.

    Gifted by the United Lodges of Southern California, Order Sons of Italy in America.

    Installed 1973,
    Removed 2018.

    The monument stood in front of the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Grand Park on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Yaavitam people, part of the Gabrieleño Tongva and the Fernandeño Tataviam Nations.

  • Removed Albert Sidney Johnston monument, University of Texas, Austin Texas.

    Commissioned and donated by University of Texas regent George W. Littlefield.

    Installed at University of Texas Littlefield Fountain 1919,
    Moved to the South Mall 1933,
    Removed 2017.

    UT’s president had the four statues that lined the South Mall removed after Charlottesville made it clear “Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”


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