Je N'Oublierai Pas
Louis Aimé Lejeune
- Artwork Type
- Media & Support
- Marble on concrete
- 7 ft. 8 in.x 4 ft. 7 in.x 2 ft. 5 in.* (2.3 x 1.4 x 0.7 m)
- Parks and Recreation
Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden
301 North Baldwin Avenue
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Latitude: -118.051117 - Longitude: 34.143993
One of the oldest artworks in the collection, Louis Aimé Lejeune was originally commissioned in 1930 by Anita Baldwin to create this work. Baldwin was a well-known patron of the arts and daughter of southern California land developer E.J. Baldwin. The title, Je N'Oublierai Pas, translates as “I will not forget,” a phrase which appears on the Baldwin family crest. The artwork is a statue of a woman standing beside a low column while her arms encircle 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 phrase "Je N'Oublierai Pas" carved into the base. Oak trees were significant to the Baldwin family. To honor her father’s love of oaks, Anita Baldwin named her estate Anoakia. In 1991 the manager of the Baldwin estate, Lowry McCaslin, donated the sculpture to Los Angeles County in memory of his friend, Richard A. Grant, Sr.,father of the president of the California Arboretum Foundation Board of Trustees. McCaslin also donated the funds to relocate it to the Los Angeles County Arboretum. In 2008 the sculpture was conserved and relocated within the arboretum because the first location was among trees which were contributing to condition issues. Now the sculpture is out in the open for all to enjoy.
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 ?cole Bernard Palissy in Paris and later received a scholarship to attend the ?cole 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.