America by Henry Hugh Armstead (1828-1905). [Click on image to enlarge it.] Colonial Office, Whitehall, London. The sculptor here follows his usual highly selective approach that always emphasizes Britain's relation to each continent. Just as British India represents all Asia, here largely anglophone North America in the form of a bison (or buffalo) represents the Americas. The figure's left side (our right) with its furling bit of fabric seems curiously blank when compared to the attributes of other continents, and that appropriately symbolizes European views of the Americas as almost unpopulated territories. Amerindians don't count, apparently.

Other sculpture by Armstead from the Colonial Office

Photograph and caption by Robert Freidus. Formatting, perspective correction, and commentary by George P. Landow. [You may use these images without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the photographer and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Beattie, Susan. The New Sculpture. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983.

Content last modified 12 August 2011

Reformatted 16 March 2015