Cyrus Dallin Art Museum – Wikipedia

United States historic place

The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum (CDAM) in Arlington, Massachusetts, United States is dedicated to displaying the artworks and documentation of American sculptor, educator, and Indigenous rights activist Cyrus Dallin,[2] who lived and worked in the town for over 40 years.[3] He is best known for his iconic Appeal to the Great Spirit and Paul Revere Monument statues, both located in Boston.

The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum is the only institution in the country solely dedicated to preserving and interpreting the work of this late 19th – early 20th-century sculptor, and it exhibits over 90 artworks spanning Cyrus Dallin’s 60-year career. These include portrayals of Indigenous peoples and Anglo-European historical figures; portraits of family members and friends; casts and prototypes of public monuments and memorials; and coins, medals, and paintings. The Museum’s comprehensive exhibits ground Dallin’s body of work within the context of his commitment to artistic expression, education, and Indigenous rights.


The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum is located in the Jefferson Cutter House, a historic house on the National Register of Historic Places located in the center of Arlington, Massachusetts. The building is owned by the town, and also serves as the location of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the Cutter Gallery, an organization that exhibits the work of local artists.[4]

Built in 1830 in a Greek Revival/Federal style in a saltbox shape, it originally was home to Jefferson Cutter, who was born in Arlington (then part of West Cambridge) in 1803.[4] The elaborately carved main entry door is likely the work of Cutter himself, who was a turner and millwright.[citation needed] The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.[citation needed]


Cyrus E. Dallin (1861–1944)[edit]

Cyrus Edwin Dallin was born on November 22, 1861 in Springville, Utah.[5] His sculpting and artistic talent was recognized at an early age, and he was sent to Boston at 19 to study with T.H. Bartlett. Today he is regarded as one of the most important sculptors in American art.[6]

Dallin found the road to success difficult, but his perseverance and dedication are revealed in his efforts to complete whatever he started. A testament to Dallin’s tenacity is his 58-year campaign to get an equestrian statue of Paul Revere funded and fabricated. After a series of 7 versions over the years, Dallin’s statue was erected in 1940 in Boston’s historic North End.[5]

In 1891, Dallin married the writer Vittoria Colonna Murray; the couple raised three sons.[5] During this time, Dallin actively pursued commissions, exhibited, and won many prizes. Stable income to support his family came from teaching appointments, chiefly at the Massachusetts Normal Art School (now Massachusetts College of Art and Design), from 1900 to 1941.[6]

Dallin gained the respect of other artists of his day, including Augustus St. Gaudens and John Singer Sargent, who became a close friend. (Sargent’s sketch of Dallin’s Portico is a treasured item in the Museum’s collection.)[7] Dallin’s art was reproduced and collected on a broad scale. Among his most beloved works are his monuments of Native Americans, which changed the face of public art in America.

In 1900, at the age of 39, Dallin moved to Arlington, Massachusetts, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. As a result, Arlington is now the home for many of his works. Dallin died at his own home on November 14, 1944, a week short of his 83rd birthday.[6]


The museum is a joint venture of the Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum, Inc. (an independent nonprofit organization) and the Town of Arlington. In the 1982, the Arlington Arts Council received a $720 grant from State Lottery funds, which were applied to a historic marker for the Robbins Memorial Flagstaff that includes five sculptures by Cyrus Dallin.[8]

In 1984, growing awareness of Dallin fostered the formation of a committee to survey the town buildings to find and catalog Dallin’s works throughout Arlington. This project led to the discovery of 24 works, many of which were in need of care.[8] In 1985, following the recommendation of the committee, Arlington Town Meeting established the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum. The stated mission of the museum was to collect, preserve, and exhibit the work of Cyrus Dallin. The following year, the Board of Selectmen appointed a volunteer board of trustees to operate the museum. A fundraising effort begun in 1988 raised $35,000 toward a restoration program.[8]

The collection did not have a home until 1998, when the town acquired the historic Jefferson Cutter House and made the property available for use as the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum. In October 1998, founders James McGough, Geri Tremblay, David Formanex, Richard Bowler, Ann Bowler, and others celebrated the opening of the Museum’s first two exhibition galleries in the Jefferson Cutter house.[9] In 2000, the nonprofit Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum Inc. was established to serve as the fundraising and fiduciary arm of the museum. Two additional galleries were added, in 2001 and in 2004.[7]

Permanent collection[edit]

The Cyrus Dallin Museum hosts over 90 works by Cyrus Dallin including plaster and bronze sculptures, reliefs, medals, and paintings. The museum also provides a self-guided walking tour to other local sculptures, including Dallin works located nearby.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Burns, Emily (Spring 2018). “Political Contestation in Cyrus Dallin’s American Indian Monuments”. Archives of American Art Journal. 57 number1: 4–21 – via University of Chicago Press Journals.
  3. ^ “Dallin Art Museum”. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
  4. ^ a b Laskowski, Nicole (Dec 4, 2009). “Photo gallery: Jefferson Cutter House hits milestone”. The Arlington Advocate. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  5. ^ a b c Knapp, Alma (1948). The History of Cyrus Edward Dallin Eminent Utah Sculptor. University of Utah: Thesis Submitted to the University of Utah Department of Sculpture. pp. 15, 59–60.
  6. ^ a b c “Cyrus Dallin: American Sculptor”. HarvardSquareLibrary.Org. November 14, 1944. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  7. ^ a b “Cyrus Dallin Art Museum Website”. The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum. November 12, 2020. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c Sugarman, Jay (26 October 2020). “Museum Open House- Cyrus Dallin Art Museum”. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  9. ^ “In photos: The Cyrus E. Dallin Museum”. Arlington Wicked Local. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2020.

External links[edit]