|About the Book|
A photographic and historic documentary work capturing all of the sculpture at the Nebraska State Capitol done by the little known architectural sculptor, Lee Lawrie, (1877-1963). This was Lawries largest commission in a career that spannedMoreA photographic and historic documentary work capturing all of the sculpture at the Nebraska State Capitol done by the little known architectural sculptor, Lee Lawrie, (1877-1963). This was Lawries largest commission in a career that spanned literally from the Gaslight Era until the Space Age.The Nebraska Capitol sculptural commission involved logistical challenges of creating sculptural models in New York City, shipping them halfway across the continent to Nebraska, and teams of carvers, working to carve sculpture in situ--directly on the building. This process continued for some 13 years.The Nebraska Capitols sculpture program was conceived by Hartley Burr Alexander, and designed in its entirety by Lee Lawrie, under the authority of architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue.This book documents the significance of the scores of sculptures, both figurative and bas-relief, and engaged portraits of ancient law givers and the nobility of Civilization.The book describes the long forgotten lessons of history as to how it evolved over several millenia, and was brought by the Pioneers into the new state.The book also serves to honor the Native Americans who first occupied the state, and who dwelt on its plains for thousands of years, until being driven from it in the 18th and 19th Centuries.The Capitol itself is to serve also as a memorial to the 751 Nebraskans killed in the First World War.The book provides a narrative on how Goodhue and his team competed nationally for the commission to build the Capitol, how the process went, hurdles that were encountered along the way, and how the whole project came together in a miracle of logistics, and public financing.The Nebraska Capitol was the first Skyscraper Capitol in the Nation, and has been judged on many occasions to be one of the worlds most beautiful buildings.The book takes an in depth look at the stories behind all of the players and and all of the sculpture and helps translate these mute sculptures into lessons of living history. The sculpture on the building gives voice to the events in the development of American Democracy, from the first laws of the Egyptians and Israelites, through Greek and Roman developments of written laws and constitutions, the birth of both Judges and Juries, how Property rights came about, the development of Law in the New World, Civil Rights law and down through history to the point of Nebraska Statehood following the end of the Civil War, resolving forever the question of States Rights versus Federalism.The book is deliberately written to present readers of all ages an historical account of the buildings art, history and architecture, but free of the traditional pedantic scholarly language that all too often bypasses the interest of the casual reader.Moreover, this book is written to appeal to anyone who may be interested in some or all of the following subjects:Art HistoryArchitecture HistoryArt DecoAmerican GovernmentAncient HistoryNative American CultureLaw and PoliticsGreat Plains history.I welcome any readers from 10 to 110 to enjoy this book, written as a labor of love for my Native Nebraska, and to share the mystique of this magnificent building with a worldwide audience.