In August, “Jean d’Aire” by Auguste Rodin—a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffry H. Loria, in honor of Saul P. Steinberg, W’59—made its long-awaited return to Steiny-D, and in October, Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of Thomas Wharton, Jr. was unveiled in the Dean’s Conference Room. That work was donated to the School by Richard “Tom” Wharton, himself a descendent of Wharton.
Rodin’s work, completed in 1889, was created by the artist in remembrance of the 1347 Siege of Calais, during which six French city leaders offered themselves in sacrifice to England’s King Edward in hopes of saving their countrymen. Rodin’s sculpture portrays the anguish of one of these men as he marches off to his own death (in the end, Edward spared the men—at the request of his pregnant wife).
Peale’s portrait, meanwhile, offers a stately image of Wharton, who served as the first President of the State of Pennsylvania— today’s equivalent of Governor—from 1777 until his death a year later. His descendent, Joseph Wharton, eventually founded the School in which his portrait now hangs. The work is one of many by the wellregarded Peale, who during his career also painted such important Revolutionary figures as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Penn founder Benjamin Franklin.