In 2004, the city of Hamilton, Ohio unveiled a dramatic, larger-than-life sculpture of Alexander Hamilton entitled “The American Cape” featuring Hamilton wearing an American flag as a cape. The statue is reportedly the largest rendition of Alexander Hamilton in existence.
An August 2003 piece in the Cincinatti Enquirer described the efforts to commission the statue and stated:
“After 213 years, Alexander Hamilton will finally have a prominent place in his namesake town. A bronze statue of him, by metal sculptor Kristen Visbal of Lewes, Del., will be erected next year. The piece is another victory for the region’s sculpture enthusiasts and people who enjoy the area’s history and heritage.”
The sculptor, Kristen Visbal describes the statue on her website:
This life and a half public monument was installed on High Street in Hamilton, Ohio in October, 2004. Created as the namesake work for the City, Visbal was selected through an international competition. The American Cape depicts Alexander Hamilton as orator and is the largest rendition of this historical figure to date. The piece was named for the large cape which billows behind Hamilton and is complete with the 13 star flag of Hamilton’s era.
Hey Hamilton! a website dedicated to providing local information about Hamilton, Ohio states:.
It was commissioned in May 2003 by Historic Hamilton Inc. and Hamilton, Ohio, City of Sculpture, Inc. The artist was selected after 10 area citizens considered entries from around the world. The American Cape — which is the largest likeness of Hamilton in the nation — faces east on High Street between Second and Third streets. It has been described as depicting “the intellectual versus military attributes of this Founding Father.” It is called “a non-traditional historical piece” with “Hamilton as orator with a full-length cape, which blows up and back and becomes the 13-star American flag of Hamilton’s era.”
“The sculpture’s portrait was modeled primarily after the John Trumbull image engraved on the $10 bill by GFC Smillie in 1906.” The City of Sculpture said, “the piece will join at least eight sculptural works of Hamilton throughout the country and is the largest likeness of Hamilton to date, followed by the seven-foot, nine-inch sculpture located in front of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D. C.”
The sculpture, cast in bronze in Norman, Oklahoma, is “surrounded with 18 imbedded granite diamonds [in the sidewalk], highlighting quotes by Alexander Hamilton.”
On the south side of High Street are plaques highlighting phases of Hamilton’s life and his major contributions to forming the United States.
Something to check out if you’re ever in Butler County, Ohio!
One thought on “Images of Hamilton: The American Cape”
Now that’s one way to stop traffic. Great man, good read and one beautiful statue…