The Story Behind the Bronze: Martin Luther King Jr. Statue in Atlanta, GA
January 17, 2020
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most recognizable figures in American history—with good reason. The impact his courageous efforts had on the civil rights movement reverberate to this day. Recreating such a famous face can be an intimidating task. Cherrylion Studios had the honor of sculpting a bronze statue of Dr. King for the Georgia State Capitol building in Atlanta, GA in August of 2017.
As we celebrate the life and legacy of America’s most prominent civil rights hero, we wanted to revisit one of our most memorable pieces to date.
Crafting a Beloved Likeness
Sculpting an iconic figure’s image is a particularly difficult endeavor because everyone has an idea of what that person looks like. However, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is more than a man—he’s a symbol of freedom and equality. Tending to that legacy is a monumental responsibility.
Cherrylion Studios’ head sculptor, Martin Dawe, was interviewed by NPR’s Lois Reitzes about the process of creating the bronze sculpture.
“It’s the most difficult portrait I’ve ever done in my whole career,” Dawe said. “Different people have a different idea of what he looks like.”
If you’d like to hear the interview in its entirety, click below!
Intimate Details on an Enormous Scale
While almost anyone can recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from a single image, it’s vital to capture every minute nuance of his facial expressions. To become better acquainted with Dr. King’s gestures, Dawe watched video loops of an interview with the civil rights leader.
For the final pose, Dawe sculpted Dr. King with his head tilted slightly to the side to inspire viewers to wonder what he might be thinking from this current vantage point. The bronze sculpture places the inquisitive Dr. King gazing out on his namesake Blvd.
Erecting a Legacy Larger Than Life
To pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cherrylion Studios wanted to encapsulate the grandeur of his accomplishments and the ideals he stood for. The 8-foot tall bronze sculpture sits atop a 36-inch granite pedestal. While this size far exceeds Dr. King’s physical stature, it embodies his gravitas and immense presence.
Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Statue at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, GA
If you’re in Atlanta, GA, we encourage you to visit our bronze sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. No matter how you celebrate, remember that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time to volunteer, honor the legacy of this transcendent figure, and think about how far we’ve come and how much farther we have to go to achieve his dream.
Want to honor another historical figure with a statue? Contact Cherrylion Studios in Atlanta, GA to commission your custom bronze sculpture today!