February 3, 1867
Classical sculptor Giuseppe Moretti was born in Italy. Trained under master sculptors in Sienna and Florence from the age of 9 until 17, Moretti established himself across Europe casting sculptures in bronze and his favorite medium, marble, before moving to New York. In 1903, the Commercial Club of Birmingham hired Moretti to sculpt a 56-foot cast iron statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metalworking, to represent the city at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis, where it won a grand prize. While in Alabama, Moretti visited the marble quarries in Sylacauga and discovered the outstanding quality of the region’s white and blue marble, which he spent much of the rest of his life promoting.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.