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Branches of Baltimore History

Lizette Woodworth Reese Monument

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1035 E 33rd Street, across from the YMCA (Street View)

GPS: 39° 19′ 41.26″ N 76° 36′ 5.62″ W

History

Born and raised in the Waverly community, Lizette Woodworth Reese was a Baltimore public school teacher for forty-seven years. In the 1890s, she began drawing praise for her rural-themed poems. Her highest regarded piece is the sonnet Tears from her 1909 collection A Wayside Lute. She was co-founder of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, serving as chairman of poetry until her death in 1935.

Hand-chiseled in marble by artist Grace H. Turnbull, the sculpture depicts a Shepard and his herd. In-line with Lizette Reese’s country style, the memorial is a reference to the above-mentioned poem, Tears. Another piece by Turnbull on public display in Baltimore is the Naiad statue in the eastern section of Mount Vernon Place. The playful sculpture sits in a fountain between the bronze casts of George Peabody and Severn Teackle Wallis. In stark contrast to the style of the Reese Monument, the Naiad is sensual and mysterious. Grace Turnbull was many artists. She was a writer, a painter and a sculptor. She never smoked, drank or read newspapers, her life an example of her philosophies. A woman of inherited wealth, she never had to take orders for her work. After graduating from the Maryland Institute of Art, Turnbull traveled the world in search of inspiration, yet she always returned to her home in Charm City. Her Spanish style house in Waverly was designed by her architect brother and contains four sculpted exterior beams, each containing religious imagery. The yard surrounding the estate is littered with her work, fine art springing out amidst the garden landscape. The residence and its contents were auctioned off last November for $315,000. Grace Turnbull died in 1976 at the age of ninety-five.

Notes

Entitled the Good Shepard, the memorial was dedicated, in 1939, on the grounds of Baltimore’s Eastern High School. In 1986, the school closed down and merged with Lake Clifton High, a campus not far down the road. At some point the sculpture was placed at Clifton where it temporarily resided until April of this year, when it was returned to its original home on 33rd street. In May, two dedication plaques were placed at either side of the marble monument. The historic Eastern High building is now occupied by Johns Hopkins University. Memorial Stadium once stood directly across the street.

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Written by monumentcity

April 19th, 2009 at 7:51 pm

Posted in All Posts,Author