By PHILIP L. GOODWIN
There is probably nothing in the world of man-made things so open to criticism as the civic monument. From the earliest days of the cracker-barrel jury at the general store, it has been the lot of the statue to generate floods of talk, some of it admiring but probably eighty percent ridicule and condemnation. To cite only one case in the twentieth century, Epstein's figures for the Medical Association Building, the Strand; his sculptures on the Underground Railways Building, Westminster; and the Rima for W. H. Hudson in Hyde Park, all in London, have been the cause of almost unbelievably bitter attacks. The harmless neo-Renaissance fountain in the Plaza, New York, has called forth innumerable jokes although it is not unskillful, while the wholly unworthy group dedicated to the sinking of the Maine at the other side of Central Park, because it is connected with national pride, gets no particular comment. Perhaps that is why boulders and bronze plaques are so universal in small American communities; they evade the question of artistic inspiration completely, and, of course, are cheap.
The essence of a monument is to honor a person or event, to propagandize for political or religious reasons, or to educate. The object of impressing the masses by placing monuments and statues in arid around important buildings appeared in the colossal Egyptian structures, the temples of Greece, the fora of Rome, mediaeval and baroque churches, palaces of the Italian Renaissance and Versailles. "La statue sur un palais ou un temple, ainsi, au milieu