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Josephine Fountain (Josephine Tatnall Smith Memorial Fountain)

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Josephine Tatnall Smith Memorial Fountain
1931–1932, Edward Canby May; John Brock-house, sculptor. Brandywine Park, east of Van Buren St. Bridge
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

Grieving husband J. Ernest Smith, author of Delaware's historic General Incorporation Law that first made the state a business haven, donated the fountain along with 115 Japanese cherry trees (planted 1929). Wilmington architect May copied the design from a fountain at Villa Petraia, Florence, Italy (sixteenth century, Niccolo Tribolo), and a Philadelphia sculptor executed the work. Water sprayed down from near the crowning figure's feet, enveloping the tall, sculptural base in a veil of mist. The soft marble has suffered from weathering and vandalism. In the rose garden (1933) nearby stands Ferris Bringhurst Fountain (1872), said to be of red Aberdeen (Scotland) granite, which was moved here from the corner of Delaware and Pennsylvania Avenues.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Josephine Fountain (Josephine Tatnall Smith Memorial Fountain)", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 124-124.

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