RON TUNISON NUMBER 22 OF 25 ARTIST PROOF STATUES OF JOSHUA LAWRENCE CHAMBERLAIN AS GENERAL IN 1865

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Item Code: 1001-17

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Ron Tunison (1947-2013) combined his artistic talent with an interest in history in his sculpture. His abilities were recognized in the erection of no fewer than nine public Civil War and Revolutionary War memorials, including four on the battlefield of Gettysburg.

Chamberlain (1828-1914) needs little introduction to any student of the Civil War. A college professor in Maine, he was commissioned Lt. Colonel of the 20th Maine Infantry and commanded it at Gettysburg, where he famously held the left of the Union line on Little Round Top, fighting off several Confederate assaults and finally tipping the scale with a bayonet charge despite the left wing of the regiment being bent back at right angle to his right wing. Gravely wounded at Petersburg in 1864, he received a battlefield promotion to brigadier general and returned in time to take part in the pursuit and surrender of Lee.

The sculpture stands a little over 13 inches tall and is mounted on a wood base with brass tag. It was cold-cast in bonded bronze, a mixture of powdered bronze and resin, by Tunison in a mold made from his clay original. It has Tunison’s characteristic attention to detail and concern for historical accuracy. It is also a poignant depiction. Chamberlain is perhaps best known for his combat performance, but Tunison portrays him mounted on his horse Charlemagne and saluting, which is a reference to an incident at Appomattox that stuck in the minds of all soldiers present. Tasked with organizing the formal surrender parade of Lee’s troops on April 12, in a gesture of respect he ordered a salute from his own troops by coming from “order arms” to “carry arms” as his former adversaries marched past to stack their arms and colors, earning a personal salute in return from Confederate General John B. Gordon.

The figure was cast in 1998, is signed by Tunison, and noted as “AP” for “Artist Proof” and numbered 22 of 25 artist proof castings.

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