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Perspectives From the Archives

The Making of a Bronze Statue, 1922

January 24 28 MINUTES

How do you make a monument? Produced by the Museum in 1922, this short film follows the American artist Alexander Phimister Proctor’s process of sculpting Theodore Roosevelt, from creating a small clay sketch and a plaster model through casting the final form in bronze using the famous lost-wax method. The work was unveiled in Portland, Oregon, where it remained until it was toppled by demonstrators on Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage in October 2020. As the role of monuments and public memory remain central to conversations about national character, a wide variety of contemporary artists have started to investigate the complicated histories of celebrated figures and to ask how and why we uphold certain narratives over others.

The film is accompanied by a new musical score, composed and performed by Ben ModelClick here to listen to Ben Models podcast episode about scoring this short film.

Read more about the statue’s relocation to Sandy, Oregon.