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Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity, 1976 (Interior Building Courtyard)

Sculpture, Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity at the FBI building

Frederick Charles Shrady’s sculpture elegantly depicts three simply molded figures representing Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity. The figures are placed against a backdrop of a large United States flag rippling in the wind. On the right, Fidelity is a female seated on the ground looking up at the standing male figure representing Bravery. On the left, Integrity is a male figure kneeling on one knee, proper right hand on his heart. He too looks up toward the figure of Bravery who stands in the middle. The figures are sculpted in a simplified form without detail. The sculpture rests on a rectangular base made of black marble slabs. On the front of the base the words Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity are carved and painted gold.

The Society of Former Agents of the FBI sponsored this sculpture and the inscription on the courtyard wall as a memorial to J. Edgar Hoover, a tribute to the FBI, and a symbol of the dedication of all past and present agents. An October 13, 1979 signed Founder’s mark for the Society of Former Agents appears on the sculpture’s base.

In January 1975, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI passed a resolution to create a memorial to J. Edgar Hoover. Funding for the memorial came from private contributions. The artist, Fredrick Shrady, was selected through a design competition. Archives contain a letter from the J. Edgar Hoover Memorial Fund which describes the memorial and notes that the medium of the base is granite. The sculpture symbolizes patriotism and family. The motto of the FBI, “Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity” appears on the base.

Edward Tamrn, an assistant director and close friend of J. Edgar Hoover, originally suggested the name “Federal Bureau of Investigation” for the newly formed agency. Hoover was only convinced when another agent suggested the letters “FBI” could also stand for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity, all characteristics Hoover wanted in his agents. The motto has been memorialized on this courtyard sculpture at the J. Edgar Hoover Building.

Frederick Charles Shrady (1907-1990) was born in East View, NY to a sculptor, Henry Merwin Shrady and mother, Harrie Shrady. A well-known artist both before and after World War II, Shrady served with the MFAA in Bavaria. Following his graduation from Oxford University in 1931, he settled in Paris to live and work as a painter until 1940. Shrady served in the U.S. Army, and was made a liaison officer to the Free French forces because of his fluency in French. Later on, he was attached to the U.S. Third Army as a Monuments Officer participating in the discovery of the Nazi repository in the salt mine of Altaussee, Austria.

Shrady’s first sculpture, completed in 1950, portrayed the head of Fr. Martin D’Archy S.J., and was quickly acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 1982, Shrady became the first American to be commissioned by the Pope for a sculpture in the Vatican Gardens. He created a 12-foot marble statue of Our Lady of Fatima for Pope John Paul II. While best known for his religious sculptures, Shrady produced secular works as well.

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GSA Fine Art Collection

The GSA Fine Arts Program manages the collection of fine art found throughout executive branch federal buildings in order to ensure its safety, accessibility, preservation, and appropriate use in order to enhance and promote high-quality work environments for federal agencies and the public they serve. The Fine Arts Collection is one of our nation's oldest and largest public art collections. It consists of permanently installed and moveable mural paintings, sculptures, architectural or environmental works of art, and works on paper dating from 1850 to the present. These civic works of art are in federal buildings and courthouses across the United States. In addition, more than 20,000 small moveable New Deal works of art are on long-term loan to museums and other nonprofit institutions. Maintained by GSA as a part of our national and cultural heritage, the Fine Arts Collection serves as a reminder of the important tradition of individual creative expression.

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