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You Butter Believe Professor Lewis Colburn's Latest Sculpture at Franconia Sculpture Park 


Lewis Colburn Teddy Roosevelt

August 21, 2018

Professor Lewis Colburn has been busy melting the Summer away at Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, Minnesota as a visiting artist and sculptor. Every year, Franconia Sculpture Park installs 30 to 40 new sculptures and this year, Professor Colburn was asked as a an open studio fellow to participate. 

Colburn currently teaches in the Art History Program at Westphal and his sculpture focuses on Teddy Roosevelt's visit to the Minnesota State Fair in 1910. As stated in Colburn's artist statement, "To commemorate the visit, the sculptor John Karl Daniels created a life-size butter sculpture of the former President. Looking at Daniel's body of work today, it seems monotonous in its depictions of heroic white men, dead and alive. The butter sculpture of Roosevelt sculpture is particularly heavy-handed, depicting the President in full safari gear with his foot on the head of a lion we assume he has recently killed. Today, the work seems almost cartoonish in its depiction of a violent, imperialist white masculinity. Yet, when we imagine this form rendered in the fatty medium of refrigerated butter, it veers towards the absurd. While it exists today as only a single photograph, this object serves as the point of departure for my project at Franconia Sculpture Park." 

The sculpture itself is three different pieces of resin-bonded fiberglass cement with tints of cement and butter color yellow, giving the illusion of liquified butter. The sculpture is a deconstructed representation of Roosevelt questioning the role of masculinity. 

For further information regarding the sculptures at Franconia Sculpture Park, please go to the article published in the Franconia StarTribune on July 27, 2018.