Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, today shared some details about the Rosa Parks statue that is slated to join the U.S. Capitol Art Collection following an unveiling ceremony on February 27, 2013, hosted by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Authorized by Public Law 109-116, as modified by Public Law 110-120, the Rosa Parks statue represents the first commission of a full-sized statue approved and funded by the U.S. Congress since 1873. Per the statute, it will be installed in National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol.
A national competition was managed by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Architect of the Capitol to select the statue’s design. Artists’ proposals were reviewed by a panel of experts and judged on artistic excellence and artistic merit. Ten semifinalists were selected by the panel to produce a maquette, or small-scale model, of the proposed sculpture. Several entries were then selected by the panel for the review and final selection by the Joint Committee on the Library.
The commission was awarded in November 2009, to Daub and Firmin Studios, LLC, which is based in Kensington, and San Pedro, California. Eugene E. Daub, a sculptor with more than 30 years of experience, was the master artist and sculptor. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts, and Alfred University in New York. He is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society. Dr. Rob Firmin, partner at Daub and Firmin Studios, provided research for this project and worked with Daub on the concept and design of the statue.
The Rosa Parks statue is cast in bronze. The sculpture and its black granite pedestal are nearly nine feet tall and weigh approximately 2,700 pounds.
"It has been an honor to work with Congress on this commission to commemorate Mrs. Parks and her life-long commitment to working for civil rights for all Americans," noted Ayers. "We look forward to joining the House and Senate Leadership in unveiling this work of art on February 27."