Albrecht Weber bust - not owned by Library of Congress

Thrasher, Allen athr at LOC.GOV
Thu Aug 5 23:16:34 UTC 2010

Back on 08/07/09 (Indology message 032149, "2 requests re images of Albrecht Weber") I requested as many images of Albrecht Weber as possible to help in evaluating a bust in the possession of the Rare Book and Special Collections division that might have been the bust of Albrecht Weber offered along with his library (which LOC purchased) in the printed catalog thereof. The catalog record is at < >. Checking this out got put on the back burner but today I was taken into the rare book stacks and looked at the bust and it was unquestionably of some other middle-aged dignitary than Weber.  The features were quite different, and the subject had short hair and sideburns but no moustache, whereas Weber, in images both from his early maturity and his old age had longish hair in the back, no sideburns, and a moustache.  Also, and decisively, it was of marble and signed "J. Q. A. Ward" (John Quincy Adams Ward, a prominent American sculptor of the nineteenth century), whereas the Weber bust bust was of plaster and done by Prof. Johann Uphues. (The Katalog refers to the sculptor as "Prof. Joh. Uphues" although it appears (e.g. < > that he mostly went by "Joseph," although Johann was his second given name, full form Joseph Johann Ludwig Uphues.)

The Library's uncataloged collections and its inventory of other stuff (e.g. unused desks and miscellaneous impedimenta) have been gone gone through repeatedly for multiple purposes in the last couple of decades, so it is quite improbable a piece of sculpture would have gone unnoticed. It is most likely therefore that the bust never came to Washington.

I suspect that, as I speculated in the earlier posting, Frau Weber retained the bust having avoided a legal obligation to include it with the rest of the library.  Or perhaps the Library declined the gift.  This may have something to do with the hope expressed on the cover of the Katalog that the collection be kept together under the name "Albrecht-Weber Bibliothek," which the Library did not do, although it stamped "Weber collection" and the Katalog number in each item, and this information is usually included in the old public card catalog and/or the online record.

I notice from a Google Images search that Uphues had a number of truly major commissions for public monuments.  Does his doing a portrait of Weber indicate how distinguished Weber was thought to be, or that Weber was well enough remunerated to commission a portrait from a major sculptor?  If the former, may there once have been a bronze version in the University or some other institution?

This might be of interest to some and so I'm putting it on the record.


Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
Senior Reference Librarian and Team Coordinator
South Asia Team
Asian Division
Library of Congress
Washington, DC 20540-4810
tel. 202-707-3732
fax 202-707-1724

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