In recognition of Black History month, we wanted to share a new addition to our collection: an original sculpture bust of Rosa Parks!
Recently we collaborated with the Groton School, MA, on the creation of 4 additional busts for their iconic schoolroom. Their antique collection of plaster casts includes greats from history such as Dante and Lincoln. In endeavoring to tell the stories of other great figures with more inclusion, they reached out to our studio for the creation of Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Nelsen Mandela. The school’s headmaster Temba Maqubela said, “These four busts, representing more than half the population that was previously not visible in the Schoolroom, are an expression of a community that is determined to come together to prioritize adding over deleting. This is visible inclusion at its best!”
Renowned sculptor Robert Shure and owner of the Caproni Collection designed and sculpted these busts in collaboration with the school. He was tasked with capturing both the likeness and spirit of each person. The busts all have the traditional socle base seen on the existing busts in the school’s collection.
Parks faces the viewer, quiet but determined, clad in the simple smock she is often wearing in photographs. Known as the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement," Parks is probably best known for refusing to give up her seat on a public bus in Montgomery Alabama, which is the event that led to the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama. Parks was already an activist, and was the secretary for E.D. Nixon, the chapter president of the Montgomery NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Montgomery Improvement Association, lasted over a year and led to the civil rights movement in the United States.
Rosa Parks was born in 1913, and remembering people like her keeps stories from their times alive and reminds us of what’s still important for humanity today. The Groton School’s project continues this mission, and we wanted to make this bust available to other institutions or individuals so the stories could continue to be told. Gandhi, Mandela, and Roosevelt are coming soon as well!
If you want to learn more about Rosa Parks, we recommend you check out her autobiography, co-written with Gregory J. Reed, called “Quiet Strength: The Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation.”
Lisa and the Team
“An Act of Courage, the Arrest Records of Rosa Parks.” National Archives, 21 Dec. 2016, www.archives.gov/education/lessons/rosa-parks.
Congress, The Library of, et al. “Black History Month.” Www.blackhistorymonth.gov, www.blackhistorymonth.gov.
The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. “Rosa Parks | Biography & Facts.” Encyclopædia Britannica, 26 Oct. 2018, www.britannica.com/biography/Rosa-Parks.
“Four Steps Forward for Groton’s Iconic Schoolroom.” Groton School, 12 Nov. 2021, www.groton.org/news-detail-title?pk=1203998&fromId=245736. Accessed 22 Feb. 2022.
“Quiet Strength.” Www.goodreads.com, www.goodreads.com/book/show/886101.Quiet_Strength.
“Rosa Parks Facts and Photos.” History, 31 Jan. 2020, kids.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/rosa-parks.