Daniel Chester French
Born in Exeter, New Hampshire, Daniel Chester French—son of lawyer and judge Henry Flagg French—moved to Concord with his family in the 1860s. Dan’s stepmother first noticed his artistic talent. Artist May Alcott (Louisa May Alcott’s youngest sister) helped develop his fledgling skills. French studied with William Morris Hunt and William Rimmer in Boston and worked in the New York studio of John Quincy Adams Ward. His earliest subjects were family and friends, who sat for portrait busts. Concord’s award to French of the commission for the Minute Man statue established him as a public artist. When the Minute Man was unveiled at the 1875 centennial celebration of the Concord Fight, French was in Florence. On his return in 1876, he set up a studio in Washington and in 1878 resettled in Concord.