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Alan Witschonke
Statue of Liberty
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The artist in his studio. This is actually a 2-page spread that I cropped on both sides so it would fit in this format better.

October 28, 2011 will be the 125th anniversary of the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty. As we all know, it is much more than a statue. It’s an iconic symbol of the greatness of America. I was privileged to be chosen to illustrate a children’s book that celebrates the Statue of Liberty and tells the story of its construction. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know much about the statue’s history. I could not have come up with the sculptor’s name, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, before tackling the assignment. Illustrating this book allowed me to bone up on the facts, while painting an almost sacred monument to American idealism. By the time I do the final tweaks on the printer’s scans, I’ll have spent about a year of hard work on the project. (That’s why I haven’t been posting much for the last few months). But I think the end result has been satisfying and I look forward to seeing the published book. Here is a sampling:
A fund-raiser for the statue at the Paris Opera House

The process of enlargement at the Gaget and Gauthier factory

The ancient metal-sculpting technique called repousse was used to shape the copper

The statue was assembled in Paris before being disassembled and shipped to the U.S. in 1885. There was actually a luncheon party inside the statue while it was still in Paris. Invited guests entered through Liberty’s foot.

The statue and pedestal being erected on Bedloes Island, later renamed Liberty Island

The unveiling in 1886: the statue’s face was covered by a French flag that the artist himself removed when the speeches were done

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