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This historic building once housed the studio of artist Clark Mills (1810-1883), who is known for creating equestrian sculptures of President Andrew Jackson, including the one located in Lafayette Square in Washington D.C. He is also known for casting the bronze "Statue of Freedom" statue designed by artist Thomas Crawford that stands atop the U.S. Capitol dome. Mills became so successful primarily because he pioneered techniques in casting bronze. He rented space in the building from 1837 to 1848 before relocating to Washington D.C. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1960 and is also a National Historic Landmark.

This building housed Mill's studio from 1837 to 1848. It is a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with Mills.

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Clark Mills (1810-1883) is known for designing and casting statues of President Andrew Jackson, the first of which stands in Lafayette Square in Washington D.C. He also cast the "Statue of Freedom," which sits on top of the U.S. Capitol dome.

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Mills created the statue of President Andrew Jackson in 1852 after several years of work. It was the first sculpture in the U.S. cast in bronze and the first equestrian statue depicting a horse balanced on its rear legs.

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The "Statue of Freedom" was designed by Thomas Crawford and is almost 20 feet tall and weighs around 7.5 tons.

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Clark Mills was born on September 1, 1815 in Onondaga County, New York. When he was young his father died and he went to live with his uncle, who, apparently was abusive. Clark ran way when he was thirteen and in the coming years traveled from town to town where he found work doing a variety of general labor jobs. When he was older, he was working as lumberman and one day got frostbite while cutting trees in a swamp. This incident compelled him to move on from general labor work and he moved to Charleston where he trained as a cabinetmaker, millwright, ornamental plasterer, and sculptor. During this time, he created a faster and cheaper way of making plaster life masks. His reputation grew and he earned more work as result.

He moved to Washington D.C. in 1847 where Congress commissioned him to create the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson, who had died in 1845. To create it, Mills built a temporary foundry on the Ellipse in Washington D.C. The statue depicts Jackson riding a horse standing on its hind legs. To visualize this, Mills trained his horse, Olympus, to do this pose. It took mills until 1852 to complete the statue, as he needed time to develop the techniques to make it, including digging a pit where he melted the metal. It was the first sculpture in the U.S. cast in bronze and the first equestrian statue depicting a horse balanced on its rear legs. The statue was dedicated in Lafayette Square in 1853 and was immediately regarded as a great achievement. There are copies of the statue in New Orleans, Louisiana; Nashville, Tennessee; and Jacksonville, Florida.

Soon after completing the Jackson statue, Mills was commissioned by Congress to create the statue of George Washington that is located in Washington Circle in Washington, D.C. Washington is also portrayed riding a horse but it is standing on three legs. Mills completed the statue in 1860. During the next two years, he cast the colossal Statue of Freedom, which is nearly 20 feet high and weighs around 7.5 tons. Those who worked for Mills included slaves. One of them, Philip Reid, was an apprentice and proved essential in casting Statue of Freedom (he was the only known slave to work on it; he was granted freedom in April 1862). He designed a pulley and tackle system that enabled the five sections of the statue to be taken apart and transported to the foundry.

Mills created numerous other works including a cast statue of Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and numerous portrait busts depicting Native Americans, politicians, inventors, philanthropists, and even criminals. He had no formal training but became successful through talent and determination. He died on January 12, 1883. He married twice and had three sons and a stepdaughter.

"Andrew Jackson Statue, Lafayette Square." The White House Historical Association. Accessed February 24, 2021.

"Clark Mills." Smithsonian American Art Museum. Accessed February 24, 2021.

"Clark Mills Foundry." The White House Historical Association. Accessed February 24, 2021.

Dillon, James. "The Clark Mills Studio." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form.

Kelly, John. "Sculptor Clark Mills put Andrew Jackson on a horse and wowed the world." The Washington Post. July 4, 2020.

"Sculptor Clark Mills." The White House Historical Association. Accessed February 24, 2021.

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