Justice (model, Newark, New Jersey Courthouse)

Copied Romuald Kraus, Justice (model, Newark, New Jersey Courthouse), 1934-1935, bronze/cast, 14 387 123 34 in. (36.619.29.5 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Maria Ealand, 1979.34

Artwork Details

Justice (model, Newark, New Jersey Courthouse)
14 387 123 34 in. (36.619.29.5 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Maria Ealand
Mediums Description
  • Figure female — full length
  • Allegory — quality — justice
  • Cityscape — New Jersey — Newark
  • Architecture Interior — civic — courthouse
Object Number

Artwork Description

Romuald Kraus entered this model in a competition for a statue of Justice for the federal court in Newark, New Jersey. In 1935 the press announced that he had won the commission and published photographs of his model. The design of the statue caused huge controversy, however, because Kraus had abandoned the time-honored symbols of Justice---the scales, sword, and blindfold. Federal judge Guy L. Fake condemned the piece, saying that it “smacks blatantly of Communism. The menacing manner in which her arms are raised brings a picture of brute force.” Major George O. Totten Jr. described the figure as having “biceps like a heavyweight prize fighter and a neck like a wrestler.” Public opinion eventually won the case and the completed seven-foot bronze statue was rejected.