Public Art

Thomas Jefferson

By Karl Bitter
Category: Statue


Built in 1913 with the proceeds from the 1904 World’s Fair, the Jefferson Memorial Building (today known as the Missouri History Museum) was the first national memorial to Thomas Jefferson. Built at what was the main entrance to the fairgrounds, the building commemorated Jefferson’s role in the Louisiana Purchase. Decorative elements of the 39,000 square-foot Beaux Arts memorial include Karl Bitter’s statue of Jefferson, a nine foot portrait carved from a 40 ton piece of marble, which sits on top of a polished granite pedestal underneath a richly decorated terra cotta ceiling. Other architectural features include six Tiffany pendant light fixtures, stone columns and decorative wall castings.

Courtesy of the Missouri History Museum.

Dimensions: 9′
Year Completed: 1913
Material: Marble
Owner: City of St. Louis

*Photo Courtesy of Forest Park Forever.

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