Henry Shaw wanted fine music and works of art in his Tower Grove Park, so he hired architects to build cupola-covered bandstands and commissioned artists to produce sculptures, including marble busts of his favorite composers–Mozart, Rossini, Wagner, Beethoven, Gounod, and Verdi. Busts of Sullivan and Donizetti were planned for the last two pedestals, but Shaw passed away before they could be produced, so simple marble spheres took their place. Beginning in 1873, Shaw provided free Sunday concerts during summer months, featuring at least one piece by one of the composers represented on the busts.
The badly deteriorated original busts were put in storage at the park in 1992 and replaced with the replica composite stone sculptures that are on view today. Several of the original pieces are on view in the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park.
Dimensions: 2′ 6″ x 2′ x 2′
Year Completed: 1882
Material: Composite stone (original=marble)
Owner: Tower Grove Park
Donor: Henry Shaw