Darrow Faces Bryan Again in Dayton, TN

In late May, I posted on the sculpture of Clarence Darrow that was being designed to stand in front of the courthouse in Dayton, Tennessee, where the Scopes trial was held in 1925.

Here are photos of the sculpture’s progress, courtesy of Zenos Frudakis’s Facebook page. Frudakis sent the full figure of the sculpture to be cast in May, but “I held on to the head a little longer to work out for a few more days the feeling I wanted to get in the sculpture of his ferocious uncompromising intelligence” (quoted in the Tulsa World on 5/12/17).

Zenos Frudakis, Clarence Darrow, 2017. Dayton, Tennessee. Photo copyright (c) 2017 Zenos Frudakis.

Here’s the seven-foot-tall sculpture in unfinished bronze at Laran Bronze Foundry. The Bryan sculpture in Dayton is the same height.

Raw bronze, with the parts assembled. Zenos Frudakis, Clarence Darrow, 2017. Dayton, Tennessee. Photo copyright (c) 2017 Zenos Frudakis.

Applying the patina at the Laran Bronze Foundry. Zenos Frudakis, Clarence Darrow, 2017. Dayton, Tennessee. Photo copyright (c) 2017 Zenos Frudakis.

The sculpture makes a point. Zenos Frudakis, Clarence Darrow, 2017. Dayton, Tennessee. Photo copyright (c) 2017 Zenos Frudakis.

The sculpture was installed this week in front of the Rhea County Courthouse. Notice the banner on the Courthouse wall.

Zenos Frudakis, Clarence Darrow, 2017. Installation in front of the Rhea County Courthouse, Dayton, Tennessee. Photo copyright (c) 2017 Zenos Frudakis.

Yesterday (July 14, 2017) the sculpture was dedicated, and the New York Times wrote it up.

Zenos Frudakis, Clarence Darrow, 2017. Dayton, Tennessee. Photo copyright (c) 2017 Zenos Frudakis.

More

  • My post from May includes lengthy excerpts from Zenos Frudakis on why he chose this project and from H.L. Mencken on religious freedom.
  • NPR’s All Things Considered did a brief episode on the Darrow sculpture on July 12, 2017.
  • I listed Inherit the Wind  – the drama and the movie – on my Sunday recommendations list. To receive future recommendations, email DuranteDianne@gmail.com.

Lawrence, Jerome, and Robert E. Lee. Inherit the Wind (1955). The authors note in the preface to the play: “The collision of Bryan and Darrow at Dayton was dramatic, but it was not a drama. Moreover, the issues of their conflict have acquired new dimension and meaning in the thirty years since they clashed at the Rhea County Courthouse. So Inherit the Wind does not pretend to be journalism. It is theatre. It is not 1925. The stage directions set the time as ‘Not too long ago.’ It might have been yesterday. It could be tomorrow.” My favorite line: “Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty which lifts man above all other creatures on the earth: the power of his brain to reason. What other merit have we? The elephant is larger, the horse is stronger and swifter, the butterfly more beautiful, the mosquito more prolific, even the simple sponge is more durable!” Least favorite scene: Darrow’s choice of books at the end. NOTE: The set-up and much of the action in the play is different in the movie, which is also worth watching.

Posted in History, Sculpture Tagged permalink

About Dianne L. Durante

I’m an independent scholar and freelance writer /lecturer on art and art history, with forays into food, history, politics, and publishing. My most recent projects are *Innovators in Sculpture¸* a survey of 5,000 years of art in two hours, and *Monuments of Manhattan,* a videoguide app by Guides Who Know that’s based on my book *Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan: A Historical Guide.*

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