Salisbury artist’s Lincoln sculpture chosen for new Bush Presidential Center
SALISBURY — A local artist’s sculpture will decorate the new George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
Robert Toth, of Salisbury, said his bust of Abraham Lincoln was ordered for display in the President George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. The sculpture is made of high-fired bisque – a type of ceramic – and painted with a bronze patina finish.
The Bush Center not only houses the nation’s 13th presidential library and museum but also the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy organization.
Toth said decorators for the library and museum found him through his website, roberttothsculptor.com.
“The people who were handling this were from Virginia, but I guess they got word that (the presidential center was) looking for a Lincoln sculpture,” Toth said. “I think that’s one of his favorite presidents.”
He said he got the call on Friday and had to rush shipment to get the sculpture to Dallas on Saturday. Fortunately, Toth has sold the Lincoln bust before and had one ready to go.
“I did hear yesterday that they did receive it,” Toth said.
A dedication ceremony will take place this Thursday at 10 a.m. Eastern time, and it will be streamed live at www.BushCenter.org.
Toth said he isn’t going to the invitation-only dedication, but he might watch to see if his sculpture is shown during the broadcast.
“I thought it was an interesting event,” he said.
Toth’s artwork is displayed in several private and public collections around the world, including the Vatican Museum in Rome, Italy; the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland; the Smithsonian Institute National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; and the N.C. Transportation Museum right here in Spencer.
The George W. Bush Library and Museum, operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, will open to the public on May 1.
It will house archives from the Bush administration, including 80 terabytes of digital information and more than 200 million e-mails. It will have the largest electronic records collection of any presidential library, according to a Bush Center press release.
In addition, it will store more than 43,000 artifacts from the Bush presidency, including personal mementos, gifts from foreign heads-of-state and items associated with defining moments from the president’s two terms in office.
“The museum exhibits will focus on key decision points of the Bush presidency,” the press release said, “using interactive, digital and visual displays to provide visitors a sense of the issues facing the president and the principles that guided him through critical situations.”
The Bush Center, located on 23 acres on the campus of Southern Methodist University, has been under construction for two years. The 226,565-square-foot building has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.