Saturday, February 22, 2014

Mythological Sea Horse, Baltimore

Aquatic Sea Horse, Baltimore

In 1926, Edmond R Amateis won a competition for two sculptures to sit on pedestals outside the War Memorial Building in Baltimore. His entry was for a pair horses with long aquatic tails which he described "mythological sea horses".

R A Baillie carved the final sculptures which included symbolic elements representing Baltimore, Maryland, the army and the navy. The right hand sculpture has an eagle and the Baltimore city seal between the front legs of the sea horse representing the army. The other horse, pictured above, includes an osprey and the state seal of Maryland to represent the navy.

The sea horses were completed in time for the dedication of the War Memorial Plaza on November 11, 1927.

Kelly, C. and Remsberg, E. H. 2011. Outdoor sculpture in Baltimore. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp 95-96.


  1. If the war memorial sculptures had been done during the 1914-18 war, they would not have been Deco. So in one way it was fortunate that WW1 memorials were not designed until the late 1920s and early 1930s. By that time, WW1 memorials and Deco were firmly connected.

    1. Good point Helen. It this case, as I suspect in quite a few others, it was the length of time taken to complete the War Memorial Building itself that pushed it clearly into the Deco period. In Baltimore the War Memorial Building was not started until 1921 and then not dedicated until 1925 so the plaza and sculptures came after that.