|Artist||Frederick William MacMonnies|
|Dimensions||28 3/4 x 10 x 7 in. (73 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm)|
|Signed||Inscribed on proper left side of base, in script: "F. MacMonnies 1890"|
|Credit Line||Purchased with funds given by Sol Schreiber in memory of Ann Schreiber and the Hannah and Leonard Stone Fund|
|Location||American Identities: Centennial Era|
|Description||Statuette of Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale. Male figure standing on low rectangular base, gazing proudly to proper right; arms and feet bound with rope; wears long coat, vest, loose shirt with ruffled collar, breeches, and stockings; wavy hair tied into ponytail with ribbon. Statuette has extrusion posts protruding from cuffs, indicating that it is a founder's original. Condition: Good, dark green-brown patina.|
At at time when many groups were laying claim to the colonial past, Frederick MacMonnies was commissioned by the Sons of the American Revolution to create a sculpture of the American Revolution to create a sculpture of the American patriot Nathan Hale for Manhattan's City Hall Park. They required that is represent "a well-built man of American type, dressed in a simple costume of the end of the last Century . . . at the moment immediately preceding his execution by the British."
MacMonnies researched the life of Hale, a young schoolteacher who infiltrated British camps in occupied Brooklyn and New York, and he was determined to produce a forceful memorial for an increasingly diverse urban audience: "I wanted to make something that would set the bootblacks and little clerks around there thinking something that would make them want to be somebody and find life worth living."