18 Nov The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum Collaborates Once Again with Big Statues LLC
The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum is located in the northeast corner of Indiana and displays over 120 classic, antique, vintage, and special interest cars, as well as other automotive related exhibits. It is in the original 1930s international headquarters of the legendary Auburn Automobile Company and has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
The museum’s mission is to preserve, interpret, and create passion for Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles and their heritage of innovation, influence, design and competition while exceeding the highest museum standards. The museum has been creating this vision and mission through the construction of life-size bronze statues of automotive pioneers involved with Auburn Automobile Company and Duesenberg, Inc. They have commissioned Big Statues owner Matt Glenn to be the lead sculptor in creating these life-size bronzes, who has already completed multiple statues for the museum to date, and is now in the process of creating the sixth statue in the collection.
Ralph Butler, a modest man who was an artist with needle and fabric, ran the upholstery shop and was with Auburn for 42 years. Butler stayed busy reupholstering seats, side and door panels and scuff pads in broadcloth or leather. Butler worked alone and used original patterns to create a pristine, quality finish. A complete upholstery job usually required about four weeks, and the quality workmanship made it undistinguishable from the original. Ralph Butler was busy man in high demand, and handled about 10 to 12 complete Cord restorations annually, and an additional two or three Speedster jobs.
Matt Glenn of Big Statues said, “It has been such a neat experience researching and recreating the life of Ralph Butler through clay artwork. He was such a hard worker and had so much passion. This project has inspired us to always give our full effort in everything we do and produce the highest of quality in our work.” Big Statues plans on completing this project in the next couple months, after which they will begin the next one. Glenn hopes that through creating this collection of bronze statues, people will not only see the impact that these men had on the automobile industry and their community, but also the value and importance of representing the life of someone through a custom, bronze sculpture.