|Subtitle||Public sculpture in the "Gateway to the West"|
|My Copy||library copy|
|First Read||June 09, 2022|
Sculpture City: St. Louis
Always on the lookout for something new to do in STL, I saw this at the local library. It's... pretty dry and doesn't cover a ton of work that I'd like to see. But I did learn about one cool sculpture, and its story!
The statue of Naked Truth was a commission in the early 1900s to celebrate Germanic contribution to culture. This happened before WWI, obviously! It was funded by a booster group of German-Americans (Adolphus Busch of Budweiser leading the funding). But when the winning design was selected, there was a moral outcry about the nudity. The commission sent a telegram to Germany to stop the sculptor, William Wandschneider, from coming to the US and accepting the award.
But the telegram didn't arrive in time! Wandschneider came to New York, and then STL, and charmed everybody, picked up his paycheck, muscled through the controversy and got his sculpture made after all.
Later in his life he admitted that he did get the telegram, on his way to the boat to New York - but he tore it up and pretended it never happened.
Noted on June 21, 2022