Sculpture at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Photograph of Nuttal Obelisk in front of Museum Building

'Nuttall Obelisk' 1887

Pink Granite, 12 Feet x 40 x 40 inches

Installed in 1887 as a gift from Henry Shaw.




Museum Building Entrance

The granite commemorative marker on a limestone base was erected by Henry Shaw at the suggestion of Dr. George Engelmann, Shaw's adviser in establishing the Garden's scientific standards. The shaft is inscribed on the north side, "In Honour of American Science," and on the south side with Shaw's tribute to his fellow countryman: "To the memory of / Thomas Nuttall / Born in England 1786 / and died Sept. 1859. / Honour to him the zealous / and successful naturalist / the father of Western American / botany, the worthy compeer of / Barton, Michaux, Hooker / Torrey, Gray and Engelmann." A receipted bill of August 27, 1887 in the Garden archives shows that J. W. Mitchell, St. Louis agent for the Hurricane Isle Granite Company, charged $21.80 for carving the 218 letters.

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