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Joel T. Hart Papers


Joel Tanner Hart, sculpture, was born February 10, 1810, near Winchester, Ky. As a young man, he worked as a stone-cutter, developing his skills as a sculptor. In the 1840s he joined a growing artistic and literary community in Florence, Italy, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Joel Tanner Hart is best known for busts of Andrew Jackson (1838) and Henry Clay (1847). As well, he carved those of John Jordan Crittenden and Cassius M. Clay and created the statues called Il Penseroso (1853) and Woman Triumphant that stood at the Fayette County courthouse until it was destroyed by fire in 1897. He also sculpted the bas-relief for the tombstone of Southwood Smith in the English Cemetery in Florence. Hart died in Florence march 2, 1877, and was buried in the same English Cemetery. By Legislative Act, his remains were later exhumed and returned to his native state of Kentucky for reinterment in the Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky.

Collection Description

This small collection consists of twenty-eight letters arranged by date, two poems titled "Two Little Trees" and "Our Lost Jews Harp", a copy of Hart's will, two small sheets of miscellaneous family names and dates, three small scraps of paper with miscellaneous information, and two envelopes. All the items exist in manuscript form, and none have been transcribed.

Collection Inventory
Folder 1Correspondence, undated and dated November 1837-July 18, 1880; additional holograph sheets.