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Branches of Baltimore History

Isaiah Bowman Bust at Johns Hopkins

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Shriver Hall on Johns Hopkins University’s main campus

GPS: 39° 19′ 36.48″ N 76° 37′ 13.00″ W


Isaiah Bowman was born in Canada in 1878. His immense talent for Geography was recognized early in his life by his hometown teachers, and he eventually studied at Harvard and Yale. He taught at Yale for ten years and while there he wrote several scholarly pieces on physical terrain. In 1916 Bowman was named director of the American Geographical Society, serving in that post until 1935, when he became president of Johns Hopkins University. He was an adviser to Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt during his illustrious career, and the true scope of his contributions to the world will likely be unknown until his personal diaries are made public.


Placed under the facade of Shriver Hall, the Bowman bust is difficult to locate at first glance. The statue is situated to the left of the Hall’s front door, hiding from unsuspecting eyes. Illuminated at night by lights, this tribute to one of the world’s great geographers greets students and concert goers daily. Laura Gardin Fraser, sculptor of the Lee and Jackson monument, created the statue, and it was dedicated in 1957.



Written by monumentcity

March 18th, 2009 at 11:20 am