On this day in Alabama history: Vulcan sculptor arrived in Birmingham

On this day in Alabama history: Vulcan sculptor arrived in Birmingham
Giuseppe Moretti (1857-1935) created most of his works in marble, particularly the high-quality marble he found around Sylacauga. But he is perhaps best known in Alabama as the creator of the monumental iron statue of Vulcan, which stands atop Red Mountain in Birmingham. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, Birmingham Public Library Archives)

February 18, 1904

Vulcan sculptor and Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti arrived in Birmingham on Feb. 18, 1904 but was not met at Union Station as planned and had to find his own way to the Commercial Club’s office in the National Bank of Birmingham building. Moretti cast Vulcan, the largest cast-iron statue ever made, for the 1904 World’s Fair. He agreed to charged only $6,000 for the massive plaster model of Vulcan, which was to be the Magic City’s contribution to the St. Louis Exposition. He created the plaster in New Jersey, accompanied it to Alabama to oversee its casting in iron in 1904 and then traveled with the pieces to St. Louis, where Vulcan was assembled. Moretti’s most important works in Alabama, other than Vulcan, include the Mary Cahalan statue in Linn Park, the Patrick O’Reilly statue at St. Vincent’s Hospital, and the work most prized by Moretti himself, Head of Christ.

Read more at Bhamwiki.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

Related Stories