The topic of Texas sculptors was raised during a recent conversation with a Coppini project supporter. About two years ago, veteran sculptor Peggy Maceo and yours truly canvassed the country looking for world class sculptors with a proven track record of creating monumental statues for national and international clients. The process, which lasted six months, resulted in our focus on Studio EIS and Polich-Tallix, both of Brooklyn, NY. These firms stood out as the best of the best. We also discovered that the top five sculptors were similar in their fee requirement. The team of Studio EIS (sculptor) and Polich-Tallix (foundry) would require approximately $375K plus shipping, trucking, wrapping, granite base, attaching the statue to the granite base, installation and miscellaneous. That figure is at least eighteen months out of date. The $375K did not include the site or site related elements insofar as a site has not yet been chosen. Also, an awe inspiring water feature, necessary to properly frame the statue, is not included in this price.
It is my wish to accommodate a fresh look at Texas sculptors, one of whom may have national and international experience creating monumental statues for the upper echelon of clients including government, museums, landmark sites, libraries and esteemed families such as the Ford Family. To this end, I have just sent out a request for information to a half dozen Texas sculptors recommended by Deep in the Heart Art Foundry of Bastrop. The foundry is a key figure in the creation of monumental statues and monumental works of art. Any new sculptors must prove they have the same kind of resume and portfolio evinced by prominent firms such as Studio EIS or Polich-Tallix.
The selection of a world class sculptor is an absolute necessity. It is our goal to come as close as possible to perfecting Coppini’s masterpiece from historical photos and from a series of articles written by an art reviewer in March of 1904 entitled “Evolution of a Masterpiece” (i.e. “Victims of the Galveston Flood”). The reviews were written a couple of weeks before Coppini shipped the Victims heroic to the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. The “lifelike” nature of the Victims heroic is what generates gasps from viewers seeing it for the first time. The statue is such that it almost seems as if there are real people inside. That is what rocked San Antonio, Galveston and Texas viewers when they first saw the statue in Coppini’s studio in March of 1904. It is this emotional reaction that we want to achieve with the art and history lovers of today.
There are dozens of sculptors who can approximate the genius of Coppini’s staggering work of art. However, these approximations will engender no visceral response. This is why we must find a sculptor who has the genius to replicate Coppini’s “Victims of the Galveston Flood”. We only get one shot at this. Thus, our choice of sculptor is critical.
I will let you know if any Texas sculptors rise to the level of Studio EIS and Polich-Tallix. Please chime in if you have any thoughts on this topic.
Thank you for your support. John Bernardoni
John Bernardoni, Project Manager
The Lost Coppini Statue Project