Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 10 Walk on the Trace Trail

Spring Columbine Along the Trace Trail

On May 10 before going "on tour" to Kansas City with the Show Choir and the Jazz Ensemble, I took finally a pleasant walk along the Sherman Memorial Area to photograph the sculptures and check for wear and tear.

As the images taken on my three-hour walk indicate, most all the sculptures remain in pretty good shape, from the swimming Maiden to the Bobcat and from the easily-missed Skull and Hand to the popular Genie at Hollow 12:

The collection of the Sherman Memorial pictures on my Flickr account provide a good source for comparison; and the blog entry for the Trace Trail contains additional source material, including links to videos made from images along the Trace Trail.

Sherman's salute to the soldiers involved in Desert Storm continues to fade, especially at the sculpture's base. The first photograph comes from two years ago and the second from my recent walk.

Eagle in 2007

Eagle in 2009
Roland Sherman, of course, enjoyed watching his sculptures change over time--and we know that the group of ten sculptures that the Memorial Area feature comes from the last set of sculptures Sherman created.

Still, the evident decomposition clearly bothers many who enjoy spotting the familiar landmarks along the trail.

And the erosion is evident in the sculpture of the Posing Woman and the Coat of Arms, as the following combinations make clear:

Posing Lady 2007

Posing Lady 2009

This close up of the head indicates the manner in which growths threaten to obscure the details especially of the sculpture's head:

Perhaps the sun will burn away some of the moss as spring and summer progress; I will check again in August on my return to Peru State College for year seventeen (!).

The most obvious damage afflicts the Coat of Arms. As the following contrast indicates, a large piece of the sculpture fell away:

The sculpture looks as though it peels away from the sandstone, probably a product of time and the manner in which Sherman created his sculptures by laying a concrete base over the sandstone foundation.

Otherwise, the sculptures look in pretty good shape, adding interest to the beautiful walk along the Trace Trail in any season.

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