Client: Artist Initiated Project
Location: Historical Courthouse, Dayton, TN, United States
Completion date: 2017
Freedom from Religion Foundation
Rhea County Historical Society
The Freethought Society
American Humanist Society
Main Stage Music, Dayton, TN
Laran Bronze Foundry
A 7 foot high bronze sculpture of Clarence Darrow in historical dress in action on a 3 foot high base.
A sculpture of William Jennings Bryant created for the Courthouse site stood alone on the grounds for many years. I wished to balance the setting with a sculpture of Clarence Darrow, Bryant’s friend, colleague, and his opponent at the historical Scopes Trial which took place there.
Funds were raised for creation of a clay model of Darrow, then additional funds were raised for bronze casting. I created the clay model, enlarged it, and cast it in bronze. With consideration, advice, careful guidance, and continuous involvement from the Rhea County Historical Society, plans were made to install the work. A ceremony honoring Clarence Darrow followed the installation. The wonderful owners of Main Stage Music in Dayton helped us with speakers and other things we needed for the event. They even made a cover for the sculpture reveal ceremony.
Many in Dayton, Tennessee did not favor the Darrow sculpture’s creation and installation at the courthouse. The project drew the community together in the sense that it offered balance to the story presented annually at the Monkey Trial Festival in Dayton. During the sculpture’s creation, protesters for and against the sculpture showed up at the courthouse at the same time to be seen and heard.