The Mathew Fontaine Maury on Monument Avenue in Richmond is at the intersection of Monument Avenue and Belmont Avenue. The Monument Avenue Commission circulated background material on it for a public forum in August, 2017:1
Date Conceived: Winter 1912
Date Erected: Cornerstone:
Statue Erected: November 11, 1929
Location: Intersection of Monument Avenue and Belmont Avenue
Sculptor: Statue: F. William Sievers
Organizer: Richmonder Gaston Lichtenstein noted Maury’s name on a monument in Hamburg, Germany, and wrote a letter to a Richmond newspaper suggesting memorialization of the Virginian. Katherine Stiles, a Confederate sympathizer sold pamphlets she had written of her memories. Proceeds helped fund the statue. Lichtenstein got involved again and suggested the statue on Monument. This in turn, inspired Elvira Worth Moffett to create the Maury Monument Association in May 1915. Financial support came from The General Assembly ($10,000), schoolchildren statewide ($2,000), The City of Richmond (10,000), The UDC ($5,000), and a citizen group of donors chaired by Gus Schwartzchild.
Description: Maury’s statue is more allegorical than the other avenue statues which came before it. A 6’ bronze statue of Maury is seated on an 8’ granite pedestal. His left hand holds sea charts, his right a compass. Behind him is another pedestal topped by a globe surrounded by swirling, stormy waters and figures bracing in the storm including a figure in a boat at sea, a woman in the storm, and a man a boy with a dog and cow suffering a ravaging storm on land. The North American continent is visible on the top of the globe, but the rest of the globe appears to be swirling waters. The statue stands 30’ in total.
In a letter to the RTD [Richmond Times-Dispatch] Sievers says of his statue, “Maury is listening to the storm and visualizing human suffering, and pondering ways of relief.” The unveiling of the Maury statue in 1929 saw parades of 2,500 military men and bands. Governor Harry F. Byrd spoke. Maury’s grandchildren pulled the ropes to unveil the statue.