Institute Unveils Sculpture in Philadelphia

May 15, 2010

John Jay Portrait On Exhibit at Carpenters' Hall 

Philadelphia, Penn. - The John Jay Institute unveiled its latest fine art acquisition at a private reception at the historic Powell House in Philadelphia earlier this month. With gifts from its alumni, the Institute acquired renowned artist Elizabeth Gordan Chandler's bronze portraiture bust earlier this year.  Originally commissioned by the U.S. Congress in 1964, federal funding for the art was cut before the piece was completed, and it stayed in Mrs. Chandler's estate until her death in 2006. A Chandler family friend sought the Institute's help in acquiring the piece and finding a suitable home for the original casting that had never been on public display until now. Two secondary castings are in the permanent collection at Columbia University and Pace Law School. This piece was originally intended for the Lawyers Club of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In an elegant ceremony at Philadelphia's histroic Powell House, a sizable crowd enjoyed brief lectures about John Jay's work in America's birthplace. The Rev. Dr. Peter Lillback, President of Providence Forum and Westminster Theological Seminary, and Mr. Walter Stahr, Esq., John Jay biographer, offered insights about Jay's life and work. Present for the occassion were the Institute's Board of Governors, city leaders and several directors and members of the Carpenters' Company. The Carpenters' Company maintains Carpenters' Hall, the historic  landmark in  Philadelphia which was the site of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and where Jay entered national politics as a delegate of New York. The Jay bust will be a featured exhibit for several months at the Carpenters' Hall where more than 150,000 tourist visit every year.

When a piece of ground is wanted for a use important to the State, I know the State has a right to take it from the owner on paying the full value of it; but certainly the legislature has no right to compel a freeholder to part with his land to any of his fellow-citizens, not to deprive him of the use of it, in order to accomplish one or more of is neighbors in the prosecution of their particular trade or business. Such an act, by violating the rights of property, would be a most dangerous precedent."
John Jay, Letter to Peter Jay Munroe, March 2, 1812