As our friends at File 770 have reported, the clay model of the bust of Robert A. Heinlein that will be used to make the final bronze bust to be on permanent display in the Missouri House of Representatives Hall of Famous Missourians has been completed by the artist.
The Board of THS had decided on targeting the early 1970s as the “Age of RAH” we wished to represent –the man who had recently been on CBS’ Apollo 11 coverage with Walter Cronkite and Arthur C. Clarke, and who in a few years would be named the first Grand Master of SFWA. We think the artist successfully captured the sample pictures we sent him from that period (courtesy of the Heinlein Prize Trust and UC Santa Cruz Heinlein Archives) from various angles, which were selected by the Board of Directors and sent to the sculptor, E. Spencer Schubert, an admitted long-time Heinlein reader and fan.
Spencer has provided the accompanying photographs of the final produce, and the time-lapse movie of the sculpting process. Three iterations of the bust were made to accommodate critiques and comments during the process. From the movie it can be seen that Mr. Heinlein’s head is approximately 175% normal size when compared with Spencer’s head. If you look closely, a small “I know something” smile and twinkling eyes have been incorporated into the face. The next step in the process will creation of a mold and casting an “artist’s proof” of high density plaster to allow a final visual inspection of the casted bust, after which the bronze bust will be made. It is the Society’s intent to unveil the Heinlein Hall of Famous Missourians Exhibit at the 2016 World Science Fiction Convention in Kansas City, Missouri before taking it to the state capitol in Jefferson City for a post-Worldcon Induction Ceremony. Spencer says the artist’s proof and copies of the bronze casting would be available for purchase if there are interested parties, but they could not be delivered until after the Induction Ceremony.