What Has Been the Place of Monument Mountain in the History of American Art and Literature?

Monument Mountain, located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, holds a significant place in American art and literature. This scenic spot has inspired writers and artists for centuries, leaving its mark on the cultural history of the United States.

The Literary Significance of Monument Mountain

One of the most famous works of literature associated with Monument Mountain is Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Great Stone Face.” This story tells the tale of a boy named Ernest who lives in a small village near Monument Mountain.

Ernest spends his life looking up at the mountain and dreaming of seeing a face on its side that resembles the one he had seen in an old prophecy. The story has been interpreted as a metaphor for finding true greatness within oneself rather than searching for it externally.

Another literary figure closely associated with Monument Mountain is Herman Melville. Melville lived in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, not far from Monument Mountain, during the latter part of his life.

In his poem “Monody,” Melville describes a hike he took up Monument Mountain. He writes about the breathtaking beauty of the landscape and how it made him feel alive.

The Artistic Significance of Monument Mountain

In addition to inspiring writers, Monument Mountain has also been an inspiration for many artists throughout history. One such artist is Thomas Cole, who was one of the leaders of the Hudson River School movement. Cole painted several landscapes that included views of Monument Mountain during his travels through Berkshire County.

Another artist who found inspiration at Monument Mountain was Daniel Chester French. French was a sculptor who created some of America’s most iconic sculptures like the Abraham Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. In 1890, French created a monument titled “The Soldiers’ Monument” located at the base of Monument Mountain to honor soldiers who died during battles fought nearby during the American Civil War.


In conclusion, Monument Mountain has played a vital role in American culture and history. Its timeless beauty has inspired some of the country’s most celebrated writers and artists, leaving an indelible mark on the literary and artistic traditions of the United States. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or art enthusiast, Monument Mountain is a must-see destination that will captivate your imagination for years to come.


  • https://berkshirestyle.com/features/Monument_Mountain.html
  • https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/massachusetts_conservation/Monument_Mountain.greatbarringtonhistory.org/monument-mountain-history