Caspar Buberl

Caspar Buberl (1834 – August 22, 1899) was an American sculptor. He is best known for his Civil War monuments, for the terra cotta relief panels on the Garfield Memorial in Cleveland, Ohio (depicting the various stages of James Garfield's life), and for the 1,200-foot (370 m)-long frieze on the Pension Building in Washington, D.C.

Caspar Buberl
Caspar Buberl (photo).jpg
Born1834 (1834)
Kynšperk nad Ohří, Czech Republic
DiedAugust 22, 1899(1899-08-22) (aged 64–65)
New York City, United States
Known forSculpture
Anna Stubner
(m. 1856)


Born in Königsberg, Bohemia, (now Kynšperk nad Ohří, Czech Republic), as a young man Buberl studied art in Prague and Vienna before immigrating to the United States in 1854 to train under sculptor Robert Eberhard Launitz.[1]

He married Anna Stubner in 1856, and they had nine children.[2]

In 1882 Montgomery C. Meigs was chosen to design and construct the new Pension Building, now the National Building Museum, in Washington D. C. and, in doing so, broke away from the established Greco-Roman models that had been the basis of government buildings in Washington up until then, and was to continue to be following the Pension Building's completion. Meigs based his design on Italian Renaissance precedents, notably Rome's Palazzo Farnese and Plazzo della Cancelleria.

Hillsbobro, Ohio Civil War Monument

Included in his design was a 1,200-foot (370 m)-long sculptured frieze executed by Buberl. Since creating a work of sculpture of that size was well out of Meigs' budget, he had Buberl create 28 different scenes [totaling 69 feet (21 m) in length), which were then mixed and slightly modified to create the continuous parade that includes over 1,300 individual figures. Because of the way that the 28 sections were modified and intermixed, it is only by somewhat careful examination that the frieze reveals itself to be the same figures repeated some eighteen times. The sculpture includes infantry, navy, artillery, cavalry and medical components as well as a good deal of the supply and quartermaster functions, since Meigs had overseen the latter two functions during the Civil War.

Meigs insisted that any teamster included in the Quartermaster panel "must be a negro, a plantation slave, freed by war". This figure was ultimately to assume a position in the center, over the west entrance to the building.

Buberl created dozens of Civil War statues and monuments for various cities and states, including several for New York veterans associations to be placed on the Gettysburg Battlefield and a bronze bust of President Abraham Lincoln, which was recently sold for $5,800.[3] His impressive New York State Monument crowns Cemetery Hill, and a number of individual memorials for specific regiments dot the battlefield.

He died at his studio in New York City.[2][4]

111th NY Infantry Monument

Leading worksEdit

Monuments on the Gettysburg battlefieldEdit

  • 9th New York Cavalry Monument – dedicated July 1, 1888
  • 4th New York Independent Battery – dedicated July 2, 1888
  • 5th New York Cavalry Monument – dedicated July 3, 1888
  • 126th New York Infantry – dedicated October 3, 1888
  • 10th New York Cavalry Monument – dedicated October 9, 1888
  • 54th New York Infantry – dedicated July 4, 1890
  • 111th New York Infantry Monument – dedicated June 26, 1891
  • New York State Monument – dedicated July 2, 1893
  • 41st New York Infantry – dedicated July 3, 1893
  • 52nd New York Infantry – dedicated July 3, 1893

Other Civil War monumentsEdit

Other memorials and monumentsEdit

Architectural sculptureEdit

Columbia Protecting Science and Industry, Washington D.C.

Pension Building friezeEdit

Images of the James A. Garfield MemorialEdit

Images of Hartford memorialEdit

Images of Buffalo memorialEdit


  1. ^ Grissom, Carol A. (2009). Zinc Sculpture in America, 1850-1950. Associated University Press. p. 550.
  2. ^ a b The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. Vol. XI. James T. White & Company. 1901. p. 405. Retrieved August 6, 2020 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Caspar Buberl". Fine Art May 2007. Rago Arts and Auction Center. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "Dead Sculptor's Noted Works". The New York Times. August 24, 1899. p. 7. Retrieved August 7, 2020 – via
  5. ^ "Raphael Semmes, (sculpture)". Art Inventories Catalog. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Retrieved February 5, 2016.


  • Camden, Richard N., Outdoor Sculpture of Ohio, Chagrin Falls, Ohio: West Summit Press, 1980.
  • Craven, Wayne, The Sculpture at Gettysburg, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Eastern Acorn Press, 1982.
  • Gaede, Robert C., and Robert Kalin, Guide to Cleveland Architecture, Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 1990.
  • Goode, James M., The Outdoor Sculpture of Washington D.C., Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974.
  • Hawthorne, Frederick W., Gettysburg: Stories of Men and Monuments, Hanover, Pennsylvania: The Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides, 1988.
  • Kuckro, Anne Crofoot, Hartford Architecture, Volume One: Downtown, Hartford, Connecticut: Hartford Architecture Conservatory, Inc., 1976.
  • Kvaran and Lockley, Guide to the Architectural Sculpture of America, unpublished manuscript
  • McDaniel, Joyce L., The Collected Works of Caspar Buberl: An Analysis of a Nineteenth Century American Sculptor, Wellesley, Massachusetts: MA thesis, Wellesley College, 1976.
  • Ovason, David, The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital: the Masons and the building of Washington, D.C. New York City: Perennial, 2002. ISBN 0-06-019537-1 ISBN 978-0060195373