Theo Ruggles Kitson Sculpture, Boston

A bronze statue of Thaddeus Kosciuszko in the Boston Public Garden
Statue of Thaddeus Kosciuszko sculpted by Theo Ruggles Kitson located in the Boston Public Garden.

Public Domain

Quick Facts

Location:
Boston, Massachusetts
Significance:
Sculpture created by Theo Ruggles Kitson, one of the most prolific female bronze sculptors in America
Designation:
National Register of Historic Places
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Yes

Theo Ruggles Kitson, one of the most prolific female bronze sculptors in America, was born in 1876 in Brookline and showed an early aptitude for sculpture. In her teens, she became the protégé of Henry Hudson Kitson, a well-known American sculptor from England. He had studied in Paris and encouraged the young Ruggles to do the same. The two were married in Paris in 1893.

In 1899, Ruggles Kitson won honorable mention at the Salon des Artistes Francais. She went on to win a bronze medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. The Kitsons separated in 1909, and Ruggles Kitson moved to Farmington, where she maintained a studio until her death in 1932.

Attributing sculptures to Ruggles Kitson and her husband becomes very confusing because of a similarity in their styles. Part of the difficulty also lies in the fact that the Gorham Foundry in Rhode Island continued to cast reproductions from the molds after Ruggles Kitson’s death. Two Massachusetts examples of Ruggles Kitson's sculptures are listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The first, pictured here, is a likeness of Thaddeus Kosciuszko in the Boston Public Gardens.

Erected in 1927, the sculpture portrays the Polish hero of the American Revolution holding the plans for the future West Point. The second is one of a series of "Hikers" commemorating Spanish-American War veterans that are found throughout the United States. Erected in the 1920s in the Waltham Town Common and Statuary, the second example of Ruggles Kitson's work featured in this itinerary is a fine bronze-cast of these familiar foot soldiers. Ruggles Kitson’s allegorical and equestrian figures are found in many communities in Massachusetts.

Last updated: October 23, 2018