19 May 2008

More on that MLK memorial...

If you get the print edition of the Washington Post, you can see the side by side before and after shots of the proposed MLK sculpture to be placed on the National Mall near the FDR Memorial. For some reason, those shots are not available in the online edition, nor could I easily turn them up via google. I do know that my son, when asked which one was MLK, identified the original sculpture, not the new one.

Here's the original sculpture:

Strong, dignified. It's hard to tell the exact nature of the changes, because the Post only has headshots of the before and after, but the story indicates the changes are mainly in the level of detail:

The furrows in Martin Luther King Jr.'s brow already are gone, and his face looks less troubled.

The pen in his left hand is gone, too, replaced by a scroll. His hands seemed etched in more detail, down to the creases in his knuckles and the bones under the skin. There are buttons on his coat sleeves.

However, these changes apparently occurred before the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts issued their edict to tone down King's confrontational stance, apparently believing that leading movements to tear down racial and economic oppression in the United States were walks in the park. Racial oppression got you down? Don't worry....Be Happy!

Perhaps these changes will be enough to appease the Commission, although I hear they have entered their own design for the MLK memorial, something a little more to their desire to remember MLK as a great provider and helper to the oppressed masses:


Grad School Reject said...

Is that....Uncle Ben?

And if so - well done sir, well done.

ma said...

Huh. I don't find the old statue as imposing from that angle. But you have to admit that the stance does partially evoke a stalinesque kind of feel.

But please, I don't want Uncle Ben as a monument.