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James Goode, Smithsonian historian of Washington statues and architecture, dies at 80

Historians in the News
tags: Smithsonian, obituaries, James Goode



James M. Goode, a Smithsonian Institution historian and author who wrote books about the statues and architecture of Washington, specializing in the out-of-the-way, the lesser-known, the trivial, the no-longer extant and the never-heard-of, died Dec. 12 at a hospital in the District. He was 80.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said a friend and former Smithsonian colleague, Amy Ballard.

From Dr. Goode’s books, a reader could learn that the statuary trove of the national capital includes not only monuments to presidents and statesmen like Washington and Lincoln but also the details about replicas of at least 73 animals, catalogued alphabetically from alligators to woodchucks. There is a bronze sculpture of a gray wolf outside the Washington headquarters of the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife.

Because Washington is a world capital, it’s predictable that Mexico would have a statue here of Emiliano Zapata, the hero of the Mexican revolution. It’s understandable that Polish pianist, patriot and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski would get a statue from his native Poland, even though he died in New York.

But who has heard of John Howard Payne?

Read entire article at Washington Post

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