3 Willard Hirsch Sculpture, City Hall Park
4 Francis Salvador Memorial, City Hall Park
Willard Hirsch Sculpture, City Hall Park
Entering the park from Chalmers Street, to the right of the path stands a statue of dancing children, “Do-Si-Do,” atop a monument dedicated to Charleston designer, preservationist, and philanthropist Marguerite Sinkler Valk. Its creator, sculptor Willard Hirsch, was born in Charleston in 1905 and attended the National Academy of Design and the Beaux Arts Institute in New York, returning to his native city after World War II. A versatile artist, working with wood, terra cotta, bronze, steel, aluminum, brass, and sgraffito, he favored whimsical subjects such as this one and created many pieces celebrating motherhood.*
His religious works grace Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, of which he was a member (his father-in-law, Jacob Raisin, was a beloved rabbi at the temple for decades); his bust of Congressman L. Mendel Rivers adorns the Charleston County Court House park across the street from City Hall; his bas reliefs of prominent citizens can be seen on the College of Charleston campus, at the Charleston County Public Library, and on buildings around the city and state. Hirsch’s talent is on display at Brookgreen Gardens, in the collection of the Gibbes Museum of Art, and most prominently, in the dancing girl statue at the White Point Garden’s water fountain on the Battery.
*Art Is a Powerful Language: Willard Hirsch—The Man, The Artist.” Compiled by Jane Elizabeth Hirsch. Charleston, S.C.: Home House Press, 2012.