The sculpture shows Columbus four times, each in a different phase of his life. These phases are indicated on the pedestal (clockwise, starting from the south side):
Bronze plaque at the south side ("Vision") of the sculpture (all in capitals. For easier readability, the capitals are reduced):
THE STORY IN FOUR IMAGES OF THE MAN
Christopher Columbus, 1448-1510,1 was a Genovese mariner in the|
service of the great Spanish Empire of 500 years ago whose vision of a
world connected across uncharted seas led to his arrival in the new
world in 1492
Returning from the first voyage (1492-93) and marching in triumph
from Palos to the court in Madrid, Columbus bore a parrot on his wrist
as the symbol of his discovery, as the phoenix was the bird of renewal
in the classical world, and the dove the voice of the medieval world, the
vision of Columbus is symbolized by the multicolored, exotic symbol of
the western world.
The young Columbus staggers before the certainty of a greater
world, which, with his navigational skill,he will ultimately
He explains to the skeptical powers that the world is spherical2
and small and the sea to him is as the land is to them.
As he placed his foot upon the rich earth of the new world,
Columbus set in motiun ripples that continue to affect the
lives of modern men and women around the globe.
Despite the depth of his vision, Columbus returned to Spain a
man broken of spirit and bound by the society in which he
had once flourished.
The visions that make men great are as timeless as we are timebound,
where there is no vision, the people perish. Vision is our consolation.
Why do mountains, rivers, nations, cities all over the world remember
this man's name? As history weighed more heavily in the old world, he
saw a vision of a new world, may we too, in our communities and our
time, share this renewing vision.
1. These dates are wrong, Columbus's birth year is uncertain, but he certainly died in 1506.
2. The story that Columbus has to convince the council that the earth is spherical is a fable introduced in the 19th century by Washington Irving. Since ancient times the sphericity of the earth was known.
The statue is placed on a plaza in the Chattahoochee Riverwalk (which itself is a monument for Columbus), at the south side of the Dillingham bridge.
The four-piece sculpture was commissioned by Columbus benefactor Elena Amos (her husband John Beverly Amos [1924-1990] founded AFLAC; his bust is on the same plaza). The city dedicated the statue in October of 1993.
That's me, making the photographs for this web page, on a grey October morning.
(this photo was taken by my brother René van der Krogt).
- Richard Beyer, American sculptor of New York (Website).
- Mark Reavis
Sources & Information
- Columbus, Ga., General information (information no longer on this website).
- Email by Carolyn P. Smith, Heritage Education Coordinator, Historic Columbus Foundation, Inc.
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS (Smithsonian Institution Research Information system).
Location N 32°27'47" W 84°59'48"
Item Code: usga02;
Added: 28 October 2003
/ Photograph: 28 October 2003
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt