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Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
 
Artist: Louis Aimé Lejeune
Title: Je N’Oublierai Pas
Date: 1930
District: Fifth Supervisorial District
Location:

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 N. Baldwin Avenue
Arcadia, CA 91007

Department: Los Angeles County Arboretum


This sculpture by Louis Aimé Lejeune was originally commissioned in 1930 by Anita Baldwin, a well-known patron of the arts and daughter of southern California land developer E.J. Baldwin. It is titled Je N'Oublierai Pas, which translates as “I will not forget,” a phrase which appears on the Baldwin family crest.

The 7’ h x 4 ½’ w x 2 ½’ d white marble sculpture depicts a female figure standing beside a low column. Her arms cradle an urn. The column is decorated with a bas-relief image of a squirrel holding three acorns. Below the squirrel are three pairs of oak leaves, as well as the carved French phrase which gives the sculpture its name. The oak motif reflects the importance of these trees to the Baldwin family. Because of her father's love for oaks, Anita Baldwin named her estate Anoakia.

The sculpture and the funds to relocate it to the Los Angeles County Arboretum were donated in 1991 by Lowry McCaslin in memory of his friend, Richard A. Grant, Sr. Je N'Oublierai Pas was then placed in a shady area near the Arboretum's waterfall. Unfortunately, this location accelerated the accumulation of dirt and mold on the marble's surface. In 2008, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation hired Rosa Lowinger to relocate and conserve this work. It was moved to a sunnier location in the Korean Garden and mold and dirt were then removed. This allows Louis Aimé Lejeune’s intricately carved flowers and draped fabric to be seen as intended.

About the Artist: Louis Aimé Lejeune, the son of a woodworker and cabinetmaker, was born in Normandy in 1884. As an adolescent, Lejeune studied design at the Ecole Bernard Palissy in Paris and later received a scholarship to attend the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Lejeune's work was popular in the early twentieth century and many European and American museums collected his pieces. He came to California in 1926 to complete a portrait bust of Horace Huntington, and it was then that Anita Baldwin commissioned him for both Je N'Oublierai Pas and a bronze fountain at Anoakia's entrance.