Sculptures on campus

From Special Collections Research Center Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

There are many sculptures and statues on the grounds of the College of William and Mary.

David H Turner's sculptures

Located in the Crim Dell, the 4 foot sculpture "Great Blue Heron with Marsh Wren and Turtle" was made by College of William and Mary alumnus David H. Turner, class of 1983. It was donated by Ben Field, class of 1957. The statue features cattails and a turtle on the base. The statue went missing in September 2006 after Hurricane Ernesto went through campus and was found at the bottom of the Crim Dell. The Canada Geese sculpture is located next to the Alumni House on Richmond Rd. Soaring Eagle is in the Sadler Center atrium and the Memorial Garden Dove is in the Memorial Garden near Lake Matoaka.

James Monroe Statue

The James Monroe statue, located outside Tucker Hall just east of the Senior Walk, was dedicated on April 23, 2015. The statue was a gift of William & Mary alumni Carroll and Patty Owen in honor of the class of 1962.

The statue is made of bronze and shows Monroe protecting a globe in his right hand, referring to the Monroe Doctrine, and a frieze around its base depicting important moments in his life. Eight panels show scenes from Monroe's life such as his student experience at William & Mary from 1774-1776, Monroe at the Battle of Trenton, his diplomatic experience, as secretary of war, and as president of the United States. The statue was the first in a series of commemorations of the 200th anniversary of James Monroe's inauguration in 1817.

The statue was sculpted by Gordon Kray, class of 1973. Kray has created other sculptures on campus including the replica of the Botetourt statue on the Wren Yard, The [Marshall-Wythe statue at the law school, and the Pierre Charles L'Enfant Statue in the atrium of Alan B. Miller Hall.

King and Queen Gate

King William III on gate
Queen Mary II on gate

Donated in the 1920's by Mary Cooke Branch Munford, first woman member of the Board of Visitors. Women at the College of William and Mary these statues of King William and Queen Mary stand atop brick pillars which flank a driveway behind Tucker Hall off Richmond Rd.

James Monroe statue in front of Tucker Hall, 2015

Lord Botetourt

Lord Botetourt

The original statue of Lord Botetourt is now located on the ground floor of Swem Library. A reproduction was erected in front of the Wren Building in 1993. Lord Botetourt was so revered by the Virginians that in fact they erected a statue in his memory which stood first at the Old Capitol building and then was purchased by the College of William and Mary in 1801. Barring a brief period during the Civil War when it was moved to the Public Asylum for safety, it stood in the College Yard until 1958 when it was removed for protection from the elements, and then installed in the new Earl Gregg Swem Library in 1966 in the Botetourt Gallery. A replica created in bronze by College of William and Mary alumnus Gordon Kray, class of 1973, was installed in the College Yard in 1993 on Homecoming weekend. It is a College tradition to dress up the statue for the holidays such as hanging a wreath on the statue's outstretched hand.

Marshall-Wythe School of Law

John Marshall and George Wythe

A statue of John Marshall and George Wythe is located at the main entrance to the Marshall-Wythe School of Law. It was created by Gordon S. Kray, class of 1973, and was a gift of Robert Friend Boyd, class of 1950 and J.D. class of 1952, and Sara Miller Boyd, class of 1954. The statue was dedicated on October 7, 2000.

Muscarelle Museum of Art

Known for its early American and European portraits and works on paper, the Muscarelle Museum of Art’s treasures span the centuries, and the permanent collection includes more than 3,900 works of art. The Muscarelle is also host to a spectacular variety of traveling shows. Above all, the Muscarelle is a teaching facility, where the academic program is considered when building the collection and planning exhibits. Faculty members are frequent collaborators who give gallery talks or classroom lectures based on the exhibits.

Curled Up C

"Curled Up C"

This abstract sculpture by Lila Katzen consists of two curving forms, one of light-colored, buffed stainless steel and the other of Corten steel that weathers to a rich textured brown. The two large vertical shapes lean diagonally against one another establishing a single point of contact before curling away, each in its own distinct form. This work was created in 1979 by Lila Katzen, an American artist known for her large-scale, site-specific sculptures. Her works have been exhibited at some of the nation's foremost museums and, in 1981, a duplicate of Curled Up C was installed in the courtyard of the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. Curled Cup C has been on loan to the Museum from the artist since 1983, when it was placed near the Museum entrance at Katzen's instructions. Since the, the sculpture has become an integral part of the visual aesthetics of the Museum and campus.



Designed in 1979 by the College's Sculpture-in-Residence, Robert Engman, "Oliver" is named for the artist's father. The sculpture is adjacent to Andrews Hall and Barksdale Field. The dimensions of Oliver are 156 h. x 96 w. x 96. d . ins. (396.5 x 244.0 x 244.0 cm).

Rev. James Blair

Rev. James Blair

The Reverend James Blair, A.M. (1655-1748) was the founding president of the College of William and Mary. Sculptor: Lewis Cohen, member of the faculty; a tercentenary gift to the college. It was dedicated October 21, 1993, during Homecoming.



J. Seward Johnson's sculpture "Spring" was installed at the College of William and Mary in 1979. At some time prior to 1991, the letter held by the figure Tina in the sculpture was broken off. A transcription of the letter from "Spring" at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, Ohio (June 2008):


Hi! you wouldn't believe how

much I miss you! I am having

a great time here but I do

wish you were here.

Next month we go on

vacation and I will be home

to see you and I hope you

still Love me. So what's new

in town? Last week Bill

met a girl and Broke up

with Sue. Even if I see

a good looking girl I think

of you and I will never

break up with you.

I hope you don't Break up

with me for Some one else.

Luv you,



Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

The statue of College alumnus Thomas Jefferson was given to the College of William and Mary by the University of Virginia to celebrate the connection of Jefferson between the two institutions. Jefferson went to school at William and Mary from 1760 to 1762 and was a member of the Board of Visitors. He later helped to establish the University of Virginia in 1819. The statue was dedicated on November 11, 1992 as part of the College's Tercentenary Celebration and was placed between Washington Hall and Tercentenary Hall (later renamed McGlothlin-Street Hall). John T. Casteen III, President of the University of Virginia, College President Timothy J. Sullivan, and Hays Watkins, Rector of the Board of Visitors, were in attendance at the dedication. The University of Virginia has a similar statue of Jefferson between their Darden School of Business and the Law School. Both statues were created by Lloyd Lillie, a professor at Boston University.

Casteen learned from an article by William and Mary History professor Ludwell Johnson that before Jefferson died, he took out a $17,000 loan from William and Mary to settle his debts, but was unable to pay it back before he died. Even a deed of trust on Shadwell, Jefferson's birth place, in 1876 could not settle the debt owed to the College. As a result, the College was in financial peril and had to close in the 1880s. Therefore, Casteen mentioned that he hoped that the debt would be forgiven with the donation of the statue.

The statue is frequently dressed up for holidays and special events as the statue of Lord Botetourt is.

Plaque Inscription

The dedication plaque includes a quote by Jefferson. "I look to the diffusion of light and education as the resource most to be relied on for ameliorating the condition, promoting the virture and advancing the happiness of man." The plaque goes on to read "This statue is a gift of the University of Virginia to Jefferson's Alma Mater on occasion of its 300th Anniversary, 1993. Dedicated November 11, 1992."

Tyler Family Garden

Tyler Family Garden. From left to right: John Tyler, Sr. (1747-1813) Class of 1765; Board of Visitors, 1804; Governor of Virginia, 1808-1811; John Tyler (1790-1862) Class of 1807; U.S. President,1841-1845; Chancellor of the College, 1859-1862; Lyon Gardiner Tyler (1853-1935) President of the College of William & Mary, 1888-1919

In recognition of the Lyon Gardiner Tyler legacy – and a family legacy to the College of William and Mary that spans three centuries – a garden was dedicated at the college April 30, 2004.

The Tyler Family Garden includes bronze busts of three members of this extraordinary family – Lyon Gardiner Tyler, the 17th president of William and Mary; his father, the 10th U.S. President, John Tyler, who served as rector and chancellor of the college; and Lyon Gardiner Tyler’s grandfather, John Tyler, Sr. who served as the 18th governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Tyler Family Garden is part of an endowment gift from Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Ruffin Tyler, son of Lyon Gardiner Tyler, to the college’s history department. The garden is located outside James Blair Hall, the building on campus that houses the college’s history department, now named the Lyon Gardiner Tyler Department of History.

The Tyler family’s affiliation with William and Mary began in 1704 when the grandfather of U.S. President John Tyler, also named John Tyler, attended the college. His son, the governor of Virginia from 1808 to 1811, and his grandson, the U.S. President, also studied at William and Mary. Harrison Tyler’s father, Lyon Gardiner Tyler, earned degrees from the University of Virginia but was awarded an honorary degree from William and Mary at the end of his 31-year term as the college’s president.

In all, about 30 members of the Tyler family have attended William and Mary.


Jefferson Statue

  • The Flat Hat, 13 November 1992, p. 1-2.
  • Buildings and Grounds--Sculptures--Statue of Thomas Jefferson, University Archives Subject File Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Earl Gregg Swem Library, The College of William and Mary.
  • Jefferson Returns to William and Mary, Alumni Gazette, Winter 1993, p. 2.

Materials in the Special Collections Research Center

The Flat Hat, William & Mary News, and Alumni Gazette:

  • Blair and Botetourt statues to be dedicated AG, Sept. 1993, pg. 3, 6 (picture).
  • Statues of College leaders to be dedicated at Homecoming WMN, 9/1/1993, pg. 6.

Need help?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for an overview of the Special Collections Database, W&M Digital Archive, Flat Hat-William & Mary News-Alumni Gazette index, card catalogs, and other tools available to help you find material of interest in William & Mary Libraries Special Collections Research Center.

Questions? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090, or visit the Special Collections Research Center in the Earl Gregg Swem Library at William & Mary.

A Note About The Contents Of This Wiki
The information available in this wiki is the best available from known documents and sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. Information in this wiki is not complete as new information continues to be uncovered in Swem Library's Special Collections Research Center and elsewhere. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use the Special Collections search tools for their research as the information contained in this wiki is by no means comprehensive.