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VFW Memorial by Jim Brothers

JimBrothersVFWMemorial#5I just thought I would share a few photos I took last week. This is the Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial in midtown Kansas City. It was created by Jim Brothers in the early 2000’s.

Jim and I were recently two of four sculptors who worked on the William Inge Memorial in Independence, Kansas, each completing a separate scene from Inge’s plays.

Jim had been struggling with prostate cancer for a decade or so, and soon after he finished the rough stages of his full size sculpture of William Motter Inge, he died. He had planned for that outcome, and so his student Lori Norwood finished the clay work. She did an excellent job, both capturing the essence of Jim’s style, and making choices about the sculpture that had not yet been decided. You can see a photo of the final William Inge statue Sculpted by Lori Norwood after Jim Brothers in this Gallery.

I first met Jim when I was still a student in the sculpture department of The University of Kansas. It was my first semester of bronze casting, and we took a field trip to Jim’s studio in North Lawrence. At that time I was still pretty wishy-washy about what I wanted to “do” with my life. I had recently given up on silversmithing as a profession, which I had been pursuing on a scholarship for the previous 4 years.

When I walked in to Jim’s studio, a large, brand new quonset hut building that backed up to the Kansas River, I was blown away. It was amazing. Jim was in the middle of the biggest commission of his life, 12 monumental bronze sculptures for The National D-Day Memorial. His studio was filled with the smell of oil based clay and gigantic clay sculptures of American Soldiers. I don’t know if that was “the” moment that I realized that I wanted to spend my life making people out of clay, but it was certainly a HUGE moment. It was a moment where, to a young kid who didn’t know any thing, a hint of what was possible emerged from the fractured attention of youth.

Before Jim died, in his studio, with clay in his hands, I think used to take solace in the immortality of making bronze sculptures. I very much had a “My name will be here long after I am gone” type attitude. Now I can’t help but notice that if I see an old bronze sculpture and find sculptor’s signature, I have no idea who that person was.

Below are a few more pictures of Jim’s VFW Monument:

JimBrothers VFW Memorial #3JimBrothersVFWMemorial #2Jim Brothers VFW Memorial-1JimBrothersVFWMemorial#6

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About E. Spencer Schubert
E.S. Schubert Sculpture Studios is the premiere bronze sculpture studio in the Midwest. Our passion is creating timeless bronze monuments of your heroes.

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