Samuel McIntire Carved Eagle – Hamilton Hall

January 4, 2017 4:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The Board of Hamilton Hall initiated a campaign to restore and preserve the rare carved eagle by architect and master carver, Samuel McIntire. The eagle has adorned the side of Hamilton Hall since the building was erected in 1805 and was in need of critical restoration and preservation.

In 1975, Philip Isaacson published his extensive study of The American Eagle in which he recognizes Samuel McIntire as one of the first and most important artists to interpret this new national symbol. Salem was well-known as one of the most patriotic towns in the new nation, due in large part, to the fact there were at least 12 beautifully carved McIntire eagles on public and private buildings. Of these, only one survives in its original location, and that is the one on Hamilton Hall, being one of the two relief carved eagles McIntire ever created.Hamilton Hall Carved Eagle

Isaacson goes on to call them “the archetype of all eagle relief carvings …unequalled in its boldness and conviction. The coherence and freshness of the work are unrivaled by any other work of similar form …few eagles are of such consummate quality that they fully personify the spirit of our Republic.” He calls them “An unsurpassed piece of American wood sculpture.”

The Board of Hamilton Hall has been working with a group of conservation and preservation specialists to ensure the eagle continues to be a part of our rich history here in Salem.  The carving was recently removed from the building, restored and installed inside, where it will be protected from the harsh elements. A replica of the eagle will be commissioned and installed on the exterior of the building where the original had been since 1805.

In 2016, The American Carved Eagle by Samuel McIntire was recognized by the Historic Salem, Inc. with a Preservation Award.

Scroll through the PDF link below for more details:

Historic Salem, Inc. Announcement



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This post was written by Hamilton Hall