Figurative statue at Loyola

Father Arnold J. Damen, S.J., sculpted by Walter Arnold, of Chicago. (Unversity of Loyola)

Father Arnold Damen, S.J., sculpted by Walter Arnold, of Chicago. (Loyola University Chicago)

Walter Arnold’s sculpture of Father Arnold Damen, S.J., has just been installed at Loyola University, in Chicago, and the sculptor reports that returning students are already taking selfies with it, which he considers a sign of a work’s success in this day and age. In the series of photos released of the sculpture by the university, Walter seems to be applying some touch-up chiseling toward the end of the photo essay. I have asked him for details of what he is doing and will report back as soon as he supplies an answer.

I also asked Walter for guidance on difference between the words sculpture and statue, and he replied to that, too, as follows:

On a piece like this, carved indoors, there are always things that show up when it is out in the sunlight. I needed to rent an extra large forklift to move it out of my shop and load it on the truck, so I had the forklift delivered a day early. That way I was able to spend a day doing final touches outside my studio, with the piece oriented in the correct direction.

Still, once it was on site and properly elevated on its pedestal, I could view it from different angles, and see how the sunlight hit it. I saw things that needed to be cleaned up, a few rough spots, a few changes in shadows, and so forth. Just minor details.

As to statue/sculpture, mostly interchangeable, but they don’t overlap completely. Sculpture is more generic and non-specific, in my interpretation statue is more specific to a larger figurative, representational work. This one also can be referred to as a monument, since it is large and representing someone from the past. (monument could also represent something, for example an historic event).

It is most delightful to see this lovely, engaging statue for the people of Chicago to look at. Maybe there is hope for the rest of us.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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2 Responses to Figurative statue at Loyola

  1. Pingback: New Statue Welcomes Loyola Students on First Day | Loyola Student Dispatch

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