How the World War II Memorial book happened….

World War II Memorial, Eagle Introduction by Senator Robert Dole,
Photographs by Stephen R. Brown 2003/4/5.
The book is Softcover and (8 l/2″ x 11″ -90 pages).
Retail price of $24.95
ISBN Number: 0-9766150-0-2
WWII Memorial: Jewel of the Mall is a 90 page full-color photographic book on the World War II Memorial with an introduction by Senator Robert Dole and photographs by renowned photographer Stephen R. Brown. The photographs are exclusive never-to-be duplicated images as Stephen R. Brown had access to the site and cranes as the World War II Memorial was built. Panoramic scenes of the new face of the Mall comprise seventy-five pages of the book while the other fifteen are a documentary of the creation and installation of the sculpture and marble ornamentation that is part of this new memorial.

Ray Kaskey, World War II Memorial As Brown tells it: “When I heard that the production of Ray Kaskey’s enormous sculptures were nearly complete, I decided to go up and photograph the final. The “lost wax” process hasn’t been much photographed and I thought that it would be particularly interesting in Ray’s distinctively large scale statuary. “It seemed like a good idea at the time”…and it was. I had no idea what I was getting into and that was five years ago. My initial plan was to spend two or three days on the project.

I knew the eagles were big but no one told me they were so big that the supporting beams of the warehouse would have to be cut to fit them in. I took one look at the warehouse, cranes and eagles and immediately drove back to DC to get all of my lights and gear. I had to light the warehouse so I could capture the immensity of the project. I also wanted to capture with fidelity the color and detail of the bronze artifacts and the lost wax process used to create them. If you have stand under the eagles (and most people never even notice them), they are 18 feet high with a 12 foot diameter laurel wreath held up by the four eagles. The eagles wingspan is around twelve feet and the total weight of four eagles and the wreath is around 90,000 pounds. Installation took about five weeks. Two weeks were spent welding the eagle’s beaks to the ribbon that wraps around the laurel. Every facet of the World War II Memorial was both an artistic and engineering feat so being there was absolutely thrilling.

It is the largest bronze project in recent history. It is also the largest stone project in recent history. Thousands of tons of select granite were quarried to build the Memorial. The carvers and masons were the most distinguished in their field. John and Nick Benson (stone carvers and sculptors) actually own the oldest business in the United States. They were helped by Joe Moss whose work adorns the National Cathedral and practically every monument or memorial in DC. Apex Piping, a high tech steel structural firm, allowed me free reign in the warehouse and invited me to photograph the placement of the eagles. What a trip!!! By this time I was so hooked on the project that I decided to do it financing or not.”
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