General Peter Muhlenberg – Philadelphia Museum of Art - Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
N 39° 57.995 W 075° 10.919
18S E 484458 N 4424064
This statue pays homage to a Revolutionary War hero located at the west end of the Phila. Museum of Art. The statue was sponsored by the German Society of Phila. in 1910. The attributable quote is at the bottom of a relief plaque found in front.
Waymark Code: WMDPTA
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 02/11/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 3

John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (October 1, 1746 – October 1, 1807) was an American clergyman, Continental Army soldier during the American Revolutionary War, and political figure in the newly-independent United States. A Lutheran minister, he served in the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate from Pennsylvania. The statue lists these accomplishments and more. SOURCE.

I was particularly fond of the relief plaque in front which was perhaps the most artistic and beautiful characteristic of this sculpture. This is where the attributable quotation is located, at the bottom of the relief scene. It reads:



This is the first statue you would encounter on a large open area of statues all related to the Revolutionary War and Colonial America. There are stairs that lead down to the rectangular plaza. There are three statue to the left and three to the right. This statue is at the top of the step sand on the left side if your back is to the Art Museum. I had to stand in the parking lot to snap my photos so be careful if you are visiting. The best tie time to visit on the first Sunday of every month as it is pay what you want day. Although it is free to view this statue, it is equally inexpensive to go inside and view the other indoor treasures. I parked on the street for free but there is also $12 parking if you are feeling particularly lazy and wealthy.

The SIRIS site describes the statue as a standing portrait of Peter Muhlenberg with his proper right foot forward and his proper left hand on his hip. He is dressed in a Revolutionary War uniform. A long cape is draped over his shoulders and he carries his hat under his proper left arm. His head is turned to his proper right. The sculpture is installed on a square base adorned with a relief depicting his church in Woodstock, Virginia. The statue is approximately 9 feet in height, larger than life and is made of bronze with a Barre granite base. The statue was sculpted by Otto J. Schweizer, (1863-1955).

This piece was commissioned by the German Society of Pennsylvania, who contributed $7,000. The sculpture was installed in 1910 at City Hall, South Plaza, but was moved to Reyburn Plaza in 1920 where it remained until 1961 when it was moved to storage due to construction of the Municipal Services Building. Later it was installed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The other three sides also have inscriptions. The right side lists the engagements during the Revolutionary War in which Muhlenberg was involved. That bronze plaque reads:


The left side of the base lists Muhlenberg's accomplishments. That bronze plaque reads:

Member of the Supreme
Executive Council
Of Pennsylvania 1784
Vice President
Of The Commonwealth
Of Pennsylvania 1785
Member Of The
First Third And Sixth
Congress Of The U.S.
U.S. Senator From
Pennsylvania 1801
President Of The
German Society Of
1788 And 1802-1807

The rear of the statue contains the dedication information and a bronze seal of the German Society. That plaque reads:

Erected By
The German Society
Of Pennsylvania

{plaque is in the center with the following brief inscription that follows}

Founded 1764

The SIRIS site also have their own biography of Muhlenberg. They write: John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg (1746-1807) was known as the Fighting Parson of the American Revolution. Peter Muhlenberg's father, Heinrich Melchior Muhlenberg, was the founder of the Lutheran Church in America and Peter himself was a Lutheran minister for a church in Woodstock, Virginia. He was known as the fighting parson because he ended his last sermon with the words "There is a time to pray and a time to fight...and that time has now come." He then took off his robes and revealed a military uniform encouraging is congregation to join in the American Revolution. During the Revolutionary War, he commanded the 8th Virginia Regiment, also known as the German Regiment, of the Continental Army. He retired from the military as a major general in 1883 and went into politics. In 1887 he was elected vice president of Pennsylvania and went on to serve three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. In 1801, he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Philadelphia Museum of Art 26th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway West Terrace Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Website: [Web Link]

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