Kansas City sculptor help place Harry Truman in US Capitol

9 months 6 days 8 hours ago Sunday, April 21 2019 Apr 21, 2019 Sunday, April 21, 2019 12:13:00 PM CDT April 21, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY  — A Kansas City artist has been selected to create statue of former President Harry Truman for display in the U.S. Capitol.

Sculptor Tom Corbin was chosen by Truman's family and former and current board members of the Truman Library Institute to produce a statue of the country's 33rd president, KCUR-FM reported .

Missouri lawmakers have been trying to honor Truman in Washington's National Statuary Hall Collection for years. The state has displayed statues of Thomas Hart Benton and Francis Preston Blair since the end of the 19th century.

Both men were U.S. Senators, war-time soldiers and slavery opponents. But Missouri leaders thought it was time to have a representation of the president who ended World War II after authorizing the use of atomic bombs against Japan.

The state Senate approved a resolution in March to replace Benton's statue with one of Truman.

Alex Burden, the institute's executive director, said Corbin "spent a lot of time in our archives, measuring the president's suits."

The artist also examined hundreds of archival photographs and his proposal conveyed a strong attention to detail in Truman's clothing, Burden said.

"President Truman was a very snappy dresser," Burden said.

Corbin has public art installations and sculptures throughout Kansas City.

Corbin said it's humbling to "be thinking where I was 30 years ago, getting to the point where I'm putting a piece in the Capitol Rotunda."

The statue will be installed next year to mark the 75th anniversary of Truman's presidency.

"I kind of look at this as something that not only will be kind of capping off my career, but it provides kind of a legacy for my family," Corbin said. "In the future, my daughter can take her kids to see it. Plus, of course, the people of the country."

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