Skip Navigation

Statue of Robert Fulton

American Art

The Conservator's Eye

This statue portrays the American engineer and inventor Robert Fulton (1765–1815) with a model of his boat the Nassau, the first steam-powered ferry to operate between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

This sculpture is cast from zinc, a gray metal, which can be seen in areas where the paint has worn away. Pieces made of zinc can be joined by soldering, because of the metal’s low melting point. Using zinc to cast a sculpture in sections was easier, faster, and less expensive than using other traditional materials, such as bronze, which required casting the sculpture in one piece.
MEDIUM Zinc, paint, lead-tin solder, plaster (repairs)
DATES 1872
DIMENSIONS height: 126 in., 2500 lb. (320 cm, 1133.99kg)
MARKINGS Foundry mark inscribed in cursive on the left front self-base: "M.J. Seelig & c/Founder"
SIGNATURE Inscribed in cursive on the proper right self-base near the front corner : "C. Buberl / Sculptor"
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Museum of the City of New York
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.