Did you know that there was a National Churchill Museum in the USA?
I didn’t either until yesterday and normally I’m pretty on top of these things.
The National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO is the only North American institution fully devoted to immortalizing the life and work of Churchill. Founded in 1969, the Museum was recognized in 2009 as ‘America’s ‘National Churchill Museum’ by the United States Congress.
Not only is it an entire museum dedicated to Churchill – it’s located within a church designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren that was dismantled piece by piece and brought to the USA.
From their website:
The most visible element of the Museum is the magnificent Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, a 17th century Christopher Wren church. This church left in ruins courtesy of German bombs in World War II was brought, stone by stone, to Fulton and resurrected on Westminster’s campus in 1969. The Church serves both as a permanent memorial to Sir Winston’s life and to his visit in 1946 when he delivered possibly the most famous speech of his long career, the “Iron Curtain” address.
Very very cool! I’m going to have to make an effort to visit this place! And it’s actually an inspiration for a future article – top British places to visit in America.
Here’s more info on the statue unveiling and if you’re in the area on Friday you can attend:
Edwina Sandys, Churchill’s granddaughter, will help dedicate a new sculpture of Sir Winston Churchill created by noted St. Louis sculptor Don Wiegand at a special unveiling ceremony at 11 a.m., Friday, May 13, at the National Churchill Museum, located on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO.
Sandys, an acclaimed artist herself, is responsible for “Breakthrough,” a sculpture on Latshaw Plaza at the Westminster campus that she made from eight sections of the Berlin Wall in memory of her grandfather. The work is the longest contiguous section of the Berlin Wall found in North America.
“This new sculpture, which will be erected on the newly constructed Plaza in front of the National Churchill Museum, will create a much more dramatic entrance to attract visitors to our remarkable Museum,” says Dr. Rob Havers, Executive Director of the National Churchill Museum. “The piece captures the decisive moment when Churchill vividly described the Iron Curtain that had fallen across the Continent and, in doing so, provided the metaphor that would encapsulate the Cold War for the next 40 years.”
The bas relief sculpture showcases the moment when Churchill delivered the famous “Iron Curtain” line at Westminster College in his landmark address with a metaphor which defined the Cold War for a generation.
The sculpture is the work of Don Wiegand, a St. Louis artist of national and international reputation who has won countless awards for his work.
Born in St. Louis, Wiegand is responsible for numerous pieces in and around the St. Louis area, including the George “Buzz” Westfall Memorial in the St. Louis County Government Center’s Memorial Park in Clayton. His work may be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch Visitors Center, Cathedral Basilica, Cervantes Convention Center, Jefferson Memorial Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden, and Lambert International Airport.
Outside of St. Louis, his work is on display at public institutions such as the John F. Kennedy Library, Mark Twain Home and Museum, Ellis Island, NASA Space Center, U.S. Senate Building, Texas Stadium, The Vatican and the White House.
His stainless bas reliefs of “Charles A. Lindbergh” and the “Spirit of St. Louis” became the first bas relief sculptures in space.
The Churchill statue has been donated by Richard J. Mahoney of St. Louis, who is a Churchill Fellow and a member of the Board of Governors. He is a longtime supporter of the Churchill Museum and a lifelong admirer of Winston Churchill. He was instrumental in the creation of the “Winston S. Churchill: A Life in Leadership Gallery” at the National Churchill Museum.