Ludwig van Beethoven

At the base of this bronze bust of Ludwig van Beethoven stands a mythical figure holding a lyre, meant to represent the “The Genius of Music.”

This bust joined the statues on the Mall in 1884. The legendary pianist and composer Ludwig van Beethoven is shown with his signature mane of hair and brooding intensity.

Ludwig van Beethoven was crafted by German-American sculptor Henry Baerer and dedicated in 1884. Fittingly, the statue was made possible by the German-American Choir Society that often performed on the Park’s concert ground. The statue was originally placed at the Naumburg Bandshell, erected in 1923. The bust then moved to its current location at the site of the Park’s original cast-iron bandstand, where musicians delighted Park-goers from 1862 until it was demolished in the 1920s.

Similar works can be seen at other public parks: Prospect Park in Brooklyn has a nearly identical sculpture, and a replica of the bust stands at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California.