George Robert White (1847-1922) was a well known Boston philanthropist who made his fortune with the Weeks and Potter Drug Company. Working up through the company, he eventually became the owner of the Potter Drug and Chemical Corporation which made a best selling product called "Cuticura soap."
White's generosity was great, giving large gifts to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. He also served as a trustee of both the Museum of Fine Arts (where the George Robert White Wing was named in his honor) and Forest Hills Cemetery. After his death in 1922, the George Robert White Trust Fund continued (and continues) to provide funds for, in the words of the trust, "creating works of public utility and beauty, for the use and enjoyment of the inhabitants of the City of Boston."
Boston is proud to have two monuments to White, both made by Daniel Chester French. The first, "Angel of Peace," was completed by French around 1898 and erected at Forest Hills Cemetery in 1905. While the monument is to George Robert White, the pedestal contains names and dates of several members of White's family. French's second monument to White, "The Angel of the Waters" (erected 1924), stands in Boston's Public Garden.
Angels are among French's favorite subjects for memorial monuments. The "Angel of Peace" is an imposing statue with massive, outstretched wings. The angel stands in a position of rest, hands clasped in front, a penetrating, forward looking expression on her face. But the wings - the wings - are magnificent. Imposing and impressive, both light and heavy to view. Larger than life, the George Robert White memorial stands as a sentinel, guarding the memory of a great man and his family.
The White Memorial is located in Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, near Boston. The memorial is may be found near the main entrance to the cemetery, at the south end of the stone footbridge built by William Preston which crosses over Greenwood Avenue.
All photos below were taken by Douglas Yeo in March 2003.
|A frontal view of the White Memorial, "Angel of Peace."|
|A view of the White Memorial, from its front right side, as visitors would first see it coming from the Preston bridge.|
|A view of the White Memorial from its front left side, showing a good view of the full pedestal.|
|A closer view of the head and arms of the "Angel of Peace."|
|A view of the right side of the White Memorial, putting the monument in its context in Forest Hills Cemetery, with other graves and monuments nearby.|
|The enormity of the angel's wings can be seen in this view from the left side.|
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