Franklin D. Roosevelt stood five-feet-five-inches tall and weighed 290 pounds. He sported thick-rimmed glasses, high arched eyebrows and soft grey eyebrows. He had a great, deep voice and a magnificent twinkle in his eye.
There are many Franklin D. Roosevelts scattered throughout New York City’s museums and galleries — he was the subject of various exhibitions of photo art and an exhibition of his diplomatic legacy. There’s a set of memoirs from his presidency and a painting or sculpture of him in the midst of a deep thought and for the photo-heavy visitors in New York, it’s hard to pick a favorite. But now you can see him in North Dakota.
The Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum has announced a planned donation of the sculptor’s sculpture of FDR, which was a gift from his mother, Rosemary Mallery Thomas, to the state. The sculpture will be installed at the New York side of the former Woodrow Wilson National Monument in the eastern North Dakota. A replica of the piece will be on display at the Roosevelt Library in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
The bronze statue is nearly 12 feet tall and 17 feet long and was commissioned in 1939 by David Boone Wilson, the man who commissioned it. Wilson cast it locally in 1957 and donated it to the museum.
The sculpture will remain in North Dakota permanently, where Wilson and his son built his home and museum in Fargo. “I am deeply grateful that this beautiful legacy from my mother has a new home,” Ms. Mallery Thomas said in a statement. “I am delighted that I will be able to see this tribute to my husband with the grandchildren and other family members, as I did after it was installed in Washington, D.C.”
Ron Zimmerman, executive director of the Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in White Plains, N.Y., which is about 20 miles from Poughkeepsie, made the announcement on Thursday.