Skip Navigation

The Council of War

John Rogers

Decorative Arts and Design

This sculptural group was a memorial to Abraham Lincoln and the recent war, and was marketed as such to a wide audience of upper-middle-class Americans. It represents the seated president receiving the map of a battle plan from General Ulysses S. Grant and Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. The sculptor John Rogers established his reputation for this type of narrative figure group by 1863 with a work titled Union Refugees, which was initially rendered in bronze. Rogers's method of patenting his designs and replicating them in plaster made him the first American to mass-produce sculpture for a popular market.
MEDIUM Plaster
DATES 1868
DIMENSIONS height: 23 1/2 in. (59.7 cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Inscribed with maker's name.
INSCRIPTIONS Inscribed around front of base: "THE COUNCIL OF WAR"
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roger L. Simons, by exchange
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Cast plaster sculpture of figural group. Civil War scene representing President Lincoln seated between Secretary of War Stanton (proper left) and General Grant (proper right), and reading a large paper. Figures are on a circular base flattened in back. Condition: Good repaired and painted.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION John Rogers (American, 1829-1904). The Council of War, 1868. Plaster, height: 23 1/2 in. (59.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roger L. Simons, by exchange, 54.206. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 54.206_acetate_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 54.206_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.