05 Jan Artist selected for reduced-price $200,000 Edison statue
One of Ohio’s custom bronze monuments in the U.S. Capitol in Washington is being replaced with a new statue representing the world-famous inventor-entrepreneur Thomas A. Edison. Now, we not only have news on the identity of the sculptor’s creator – Alan Cottrill of Zanesville – but also a new expected price, which marks a significant downgrade on the initial estimate.
It was once thought that the new statue would cost some $2 million, but that price now looks likely to be only slightly more than $200,000, with the new estimate including the bronze statue’s cost as well as the fees associated with shipping it to Washington and having a statue of former Gov. William Allen moved back to Ohio.
The replacement of Allen’s statue is on account of his pro-slavery views that are no longer considered an appropriate representation of modern-day Ohio. It means that the new, life-size statue of Edison, depicted holding up an incandescent light bulb, will join Ohio’s other statue – of President James A. Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881 – in representing the state in U.S. Statutory Hall.
The decrease in the estimate to about 10 percent of its original cost was due to a revision in the scope of the project that brought lower “hard costs”, according to Douglass W. McDonald, president and CEO of the Cincinnati Museum Center, which was responsible for coordinating the process for the Ohio Statutory Hall Commission.
McDonald added that with $40,000 having been raised already, it was a “quite achievable” task to collect the remaining $160,000 or so. 62-year old Cottrill was only chosen for the job of creating the statue of the Milan, Ohio native last week ahead of the other two finalists, Perrysburg’s Thomas Lingeman and Emanuel Enriquez of Bowling Green.
Despite this, Cottrill has already completed his statue of the man behind the phonograph and kinetoscope, having decided that he would make an Edison statue regardless. Had he missed out on selection, Cottrill had intended to make the statue the “crowning piece” of his Zanesville studio.
Although the choice of Cottrill still needs to be approved by the state, the architect of the U.S. Capitol and the Joint Committee of the Library of Congress, this process should largely be a formality. As creators of custom bronze monuments ourselves here at Big Statues, we certainly can’t wait to see the new statue ‘in situ’ in its new home!