Sculptures by Alan LeQuire
A series of clay busts, now on display at the National Civil Rights Museum, honor musicians who risked their careers to fight inequality and racism. Nashville-based sculptor Alan LeQuire crafted his “Cultural Heroes” in an effort to represent artists who, in LeQuire's words, made “art that succeeded despite obstacles.” The busts portray Billie Holiday, Woody Guthrie, Bessie Smith, Paul Robeson, and others. They will be on display at the museum through February 25, 2016.
Says LeQuire, “I wanted to create larger-than-life portrait heads that would affect the viewer with their beauty and presence.”
In addition to their beauty and presence, the portraits will also offer visitors a history lesson: Museum-goers will learn that Paul Robeson led a movement to free Africa from colonialism, and that Marian Anderson, the famous contralto, was prohibited from performing in Washington’s Constitution Hall in 1939.