Everett McKinley Dirksen (statue) - Pekin, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 40° 33.926 W 089° 37.850
16T E 277284 N 4493843
Quick Description: Standing figure of Illinois US Senator Dirksen. At his feet, a seated elephant, the bust of a donkey, an oil can and a bouquet of marigolds. The elephant represents the Republicans; and the Donkey, dressed in a suit and tie, the Democrats.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 10/8/2010 1:55:54 PM
Waymark Code: WM9X2B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 0

Long Description:
Continued from the Smithsonian database:
Dimensions: Sculpture: approx. 7 ft. x 30 in. x 30 in.; Base: approx. 4 ft. x 36 in. x 36 in.
Inscription: Roman Bronze Works (Base left:) Carl Tolpo Sculptor (Base right:) GIFT from the STATE of ILLINOIS (Base front:) Everett McKinley Dirksen 1896-1969, Pekin Ill U.S. Senate 1950-69 US House 1933-49 signed Founder's mark appears.

Other plaques and inscriptions explaining Dirksen's career are attached. One contains his quotes, including: “There is no force so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

Remarks: This piece was originally owned by the State of Illinois. It was then shipped to Washington, D.C. ca. 1975 and held in storage. It was next shipped to Pekin, IL ca. 1982 and held in storage. It was given to E. M. Dirksen Congressional Center who, in turn, gave it to Pekin Park District in 1987. A duplicate of the piece is located in Springfield, IL. (IL000264).

From wikipedia:
"Everett McKinley Dirksen (January 4, 1896 – September 7, 1969) was an American politician of the Republican Party. He represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives (1933–49) and U.S. Senate (1951–69). As Senate Minority Leader for over a decade, he played a highly visible and key role in the politics of the 1960s, including helping to write and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Open Housing Act of 1968, both landmarks of civil rights legislation. He was also one of the Senate's strongest supporters of the Vietnam War."

Why the oil can and the marigolds? Dirksen had an oil can on his desk to represent his ability to grease things through Congress. Marigolds were his favorite flower and he strove (unsuccessfully) to have it made the national flower.

Found this and the other Dirksen statue in town during a whirlwind 1 day waymarking cavort (prior to a meeting) through the Peoria area.
TITLE: Everett McKinley Dirksen

ARTIST(S): Tolpo, Carl, 1901-1976, sculptor. Roman Bronze Works, founder.

DATE: ca. 1975.; Cast 1975.; Dedicated Sept. 12, 1987.

MEDIUM: Bronze on a concrete block base.

CONTROL NUMBER: IAS IL000224

Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

PHYSICAL LOCATION:
Located Park & Court Streets, Pekin, Illinois 61554 across from Mineral Springs Park.


DIFFERENCES NOTED BETWEEN THE INVENTORY LISTING AND YOUR OBSERVATIONS AND RESEARCH:
none, although there are more plaques now


Visit Instructions:
Please give the date of your visit, your impressions of the sculpture, and at least ONE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPH. Add any additional information you may have, particularly any personal observations about the condition of the sculpture.
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