The World Food Prize Foundation

South Dakota artist wins commission for Norman Borlaug statue in U.S. Capitol


From The Des Moines Register:

A South Dakota artist will sculpt the new statue of Iowa icon Norman Borlaug that will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol, Gov. Terry Branstad and other state leaders announced this afternoon.

Credit: The Des Moines Register

Sculptor Benjamin Victor won the commission over more than 60 other artists with a piece that depicts Borlaug in a field of wheat taking notes in a notebook.

The bronze statue will stand seven feet tall, and will be placed in Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol as one of the two depicting important figures from the state of Iowa. A sculpture of U.S. Sen. James Harlan will be removed to make way for the new work.

Borlaug was a plant scientist and innovator in agriculture’s so-called “Green Revolution.” His innovations are credited with saving a billion lives around the world. The Iowa Legislature passed legislation in 2011 commissioning the statue and ordering its placement in the Capitol.

Victor has a long list of sculpture credits — including one already in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. He previously completed a 6’4″ statue of Sarah Winnemucca, which was installed at the Capitol in 2005. Other works are on display in Nevada, South Dakota and California.Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant has his statue of Belle Babb Mansfield, the first female attorney in the United States.

A committee led by Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the Des Moines-based World Food Prize Foundation, raised money for the project and selected the artist.

The statue is to be installed on March 25, 2014 – the 100th anniversary of Borlaug’s birth. The other Iowa sculpture in Statuary Hall is of Samuel Jordan Kirkwood, the Civil War-era governor.

The committee is continuing to accept donations for the project. Checks may be sent to:

The Dr. Norman E. Borlaug Statue Project
c/o Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
600 E. Locust Street
Des Moines, IA 50319

Credit: Des Moines Register

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