McKinley statue with allegorical figures.
McKinley statue with allegorical figures.

President McKinley and Nude Boy

Field review by the editors.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The McKinley and Nude Boy statue (our name for it) was unveiled next to Philadelphia's City Hall on July 6, 1908, for a generation that understood allegory. Thirty-eight different sculpture concepts were submitted to a Committee on Design, which chose this one. Charles Albert Lopez began the statue, then died; Isidore Konti completed the work.

It depicts martyred President William McKinley atop a pedestal. He appears to be giving a speech, while below sits a woman wearing a breastplate and, next to her, an unclothed little boy. They're gazing into each other's eyes. The woman and boy are intended to represent Wisdom instructing Youth, although their connection to the politician scowling above them, who's wearing an overcoat and has one hand holding a pair of reading glasses, is left to the viewer's imagination.

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President McKinley and Nude Boy

S. Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA
Heart of downtown, on the southeast side of Philadelphia City Hall.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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In the region:
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