Ohio Statuary Hall Commission announces artist selected for Edison statue

CINCINNATI – The Ohio Statuary Hall Commission (OSHC) announced today the artist selected for the commission to create a sculpture of Thomas Edison to represent Ohio in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. Sculptor Alan Cottrill of Zanesville, Ohio, will produce the statue pending approval by the State of Ohio, Architect of the Capitol and the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress.

statue of Thomas Edison“We were thoroughly impressed by the credentials and designs of the three finalists we considered for the project but ultimately felt that Mr. Cottrill’s representation of Thomas Edison was the one we wanted to represent Ohio in the Capitol,” says Douglass W. McDonald, president of the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “Mr. Cottrill’s design captures the ingenuity and industriousness in Edison that is inside every Ohioan. We’re excited to see Mr. Cottrill’s design come to fruition and get Edison to the Capitol.”

Cottrill was selected out of 30 artists who responded to a Request for Qualifications, each of whom were evaluated based upon artistic excellence, conceptual approach to the project and prior experience. Cottrill’s over twenty years of sculpting experience and résumé of over 500 figurative statues, several of which are installed throughout the United States, ensured the Commission that Edison would be in good hands.

“It’s an unusual and prestigious honor to select an individual to represent the state of Ohio in the U.S. Capitol,” says Mark Wagoner, OSHC board member. “As a Commission we know that this opportunity may never present itself again so we need to get it right. Mr. Cottrill’s design is one that makes us as a Commission proud and will make generations of Ohioans to come proud as well.”

Cottrill’s design features Edison proudly presenting the incandescent light bulb for which he is so famous, his expression conveying intelligence, warmth, confidence and determination. In addition to the first practical incandescent light bulb, Edison also invented the phonograph and kinetoscope and received over one thousand patents in his lifetime. The statue will be a true piece of Ohio history, using a bronze foundry within the state as well.

The effort to get Edison to the U.S. Capitol has been overseen by the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission. The Commission includes:

Kelly Falcone, President and CEO, Western Reserve Historical Society
Don Gfell, Owner, Sights & Sounds of Edison
Jeanette Henry, Vice President, Growers Chemical Corp.
Burt Logan, Executive Director and CEO, Ohio History Connection
Douglass W. McDonald (President), President and CEO, Cincinnati Museum Center
Brian McMahon, Partner, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
George Vincent, Managing Partner, Dinsmore and Shohl, LLP
Mark Wagoner, Partner, Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP

The statue of Thomas Edison will replace that of former Ohio Governor William Allen in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol, where each state is represented by two statues of prominent individuals native to that state, made from either of bronze or marble, situated on a marble pedestal.

The project is subject to the execution of a satisfactory agreement among the Ohio Statuary Hall Commission, the Architect of the Capitol and Mr. Cottrill.

The entire project is funded solely by private donations. For more information visit www.ohiostatuaryhall.org.