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.

The Americans are the first people whom Heaven has favoured with an opportunity of deliberating upon, and choosing the forms of government under which they should live. All other constitutions have derived their existence from violence or accidental circumstances, and are therefore probably more distant from their perfection, which, though beyond our reach, may nevertheless be approached under the guidance of reason and experience."
John Jay, Charge to the Grand Jury, Ulster County, New York, NY 1777