C.S. Pietro – John Muir

C. S. Pietro

(American, b. Italy, 1886-1918)

John Muir

30 x 14 x 14 in.
Gift of The Brittingham Fund—The University of Wisconsin Trust

John Muir grew up on a farm near Portage, Wisconsin where the fields, woods, and wildlife deeply inspired him. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for three years before leaving to travel the world. Muir is best known as an early environmental advocate and founder of the Sierra Club. C. S. Pietro’s bust, John Muir, was commissioned shortly after Muir’s death in 1914. Aside from the commemorative sculpture, Muir’s legacy lives on at UW-Madison in several other ways. The seven-acre John Muir Park near Bascom Hall includes Muir Knoll and the Robert E. Gard Storyteller’s Circle. Visitors can also view his former dorm room located on the 1st floor of North Hall or marvel at his innovative clockwork study desk on the main level of the Wisconsin Historical Society building on Library Mall.

Cartaino di Sciarrino Pietro, or C. S. Pietro, was a society sculptor responsible for bust portraits and allegorical statues. His artwork can be found in innumerable collections including the Toledo Museum of Art’s outdoor sculpture collection. In addition to John Muir, Pietro completed a bust of UW-Madison President Charles R. Van Hise. Appropriately, that sculpture remains on display on the 18th floor of Van Hise Hall.


John Muir is located in Birge Hall. Enter through the main doors on the Bascom Hill side of the building. Ascend the staircase on the right. The bust is at the top of the stairs on the second floor mezzanine.

Accessible Directions

Enter through the eastern side entrance off of the path between Birge Hall and the Law Building. Go straight, take first right, and continue left – following signs for the elevator. Take the elevator up to the second floor. Out of the elevator, turn left. John Muir is located on the opposite side of the second floor mezzanine.


Obituary: American Art News, Vol. 17 No. 2 (Oct. 19, 1918): 4.

Wisconsin Historical Society, John Muir article.

Transcript, Charles R. Van Hise address on John Muir, on occassion of dedication of Pietro bust, 1916.

C.S. Pietro - John Muir