The War Musuem

The Felix De Weldon Memorial Sculpture Collection

The Original Iwo Jima Monument,

Accessories & Provenance Group

 

 

The Original First Monument of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising made by Felix de Weldon in 1945.

 

It stood in front of the old Navy Department Building until 1947 when it was removed to make way for the construction of the Pan American Union Building.

 

After the conclusion of the war, the Congress of the United States commissioned de Weldon to construct the statue for the Iwo Jima Memorial in the realist tradition, based upon the famous photograph of Joe Rosenthal, of the Associated Press agency, taken on 23 February 1945.    De Weldon made sculptures from life of three survivors of the six men who raised the flag.    The other three, who had died in action later, were sculpted from photographs.     Dr. de Weldon died on June 2, 2003 at age 96.   He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  This outstanding and inspiring collection truly constitutes a national treasure. 

 

 

Original Monument, Accessories & Provenance Group

 

At the conclusion of the war, the Congress of the United States commissioned de Weldon to construct the statue for the Iwo Jima Memorial in the realist tradition, based upon the famous photograph of Joe Rosenthal, of the Associated Press agency, taken on 23 February 1945.    De Weldon made sculptures from life of three of the six men raising the flag.    The other three, who had died in action later, were sculpted from photographs.     Dr. de Weldon died on June 2, 2003 at age 96 in Woodstock, Virginia.   He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  This outstanding and inspiring collection truly constitutes a national treasure.   The following items will be included with the Original Monument:

 

The Original First Monument of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising made by Felix de Weldon in 1945. 

 

It stood in front of the old Navy Department Building until 1947 when it was removed to make way for the construction of the Pan American Union Building.

 

Seen here as Exhibited: Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, 1995 – 2007.

 

The Original First Sculpture of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising made by Felix de Weldon in 1945 while the battle for the island was raging and 3 of the 6 Flag Raisers were killed.  A few months later it was scaled up to become the First Monument above.

 

Exhibited: Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, 1995 – 2007.

 

[See three contemporary photos below with President Truman and 3 surviving Flag Raisers.]

 

Collection of Original 1945 Photos of the 1st Iwo Jima Sculpture, from the Òweekend waxÓ to the Truman presentation.

 

 [See  Document & Photo Group - A  for the complete Collection]

 

ÒReport to White HouseÓ

 

Collection of Original 1945 Photos of Building the 1st Iwo Jima Monument: Including a

1945 photo of sculptor Felix de Weldon in his US Navy uniform of Painters Mate, 2nd Class.

 

Exhibited: Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, 1995 – 2007.

 

[See  Document & Photo Group - B  for the complete Collection]

 

De WeldonÕs Original Sculpture TOOLS USED TO SCULPT THE 1st & Last IWO JIMA MONUMENTS. 

 

They are from his Washington, DC Studio. 

 

 Collection of Original 1945 -1952 photos of de Weldon using these tools.

 

[See Document & Photo Group - C  the complete Collection]

Recording of 1st Monument Unveiling Ceremony (Rare Audio). 

Original 1945 Photo Group Of The First Iwo Jima Monument Unveiling Ceremony.

 

 

[See Document & Photo Group - D for the complete Collection]

Original 1945 Photo Group Of The First Iwo Jima Monument After Its Unveiling.

 

[See Document & Photo Group - E for the complete Collection]

 

Original Rare 1945 Color Transparency Of The First Iwo Jima Monument.

Original rare 1945 color transparency of the First Iwo Jima Monument.

 

 

Original Copy of the Congressional Record Commemorating the IWO JIMA MONUMENT. 

 

Dated March 1, 1946 and adopted by unanimous consent, this document:

 

1.  Commemorates the unveiling of the 1st  IWO JIMA MONUMENT on November 10, 1945, a few months before, & thanks De Weldon as a Òbrilliant artist.Ó

 

2.  Confirms the 3 surviving Flag Raisers posed for it.

 

3.  Grants official government recognition and support for a volunteer subscription of funds by friends of the Marine Corps to buy the statue from De Weldon and move it to a more Òattractive location in Washington City.Ó

 

 

On Exhibit at The Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, 1995 – 2007.  

 

De WeldonÕs Plaster Original Bas-relief Sculpture Plaque of the U.S. Marines Flag Raising. 

 

It was an 8 x 10 inch model made for the Bronze Marine Corps Memorial he designed for the top of Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima Island. 

 

Done shortly after World War II in his Washington, DC Studio.

 

On Exhibit at The Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, 1995 – 2007.  

 

A Rare De Weldon Original 1945 Cast Marble Miniature (one of only two known).

 

 

A 1945 dated Bedi Rassy Iwo Jima casting mounted on a green marble base.

 

These models of the original 1945 Monument were sold in the late 1940Õs and 50Õs to raise funds to build the 80-ton Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington (cast by Bedi Rossi foundry).   A copy of the original fundraising flyer.

 

Done shortly after World War II in his Washington, DC Studio.   

 

On Exhibit at The Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum, 1995 – 2007.  

 

  

Original 1945 Photo of The First Iwo Jima Monument After Its Unveiling.

 

Size: 16 x 20Ó.  Framed, but unrestored. 

 

X-Collection Felix de Weldon.

 

The Original First Monument of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising made by Felix de Weldon in 1945.

 

Seen here Exhibited at the Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum in 2007 with a new base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document & Photo Group - A

Collection of Original 1945 Photos of 1st Iwo Jima Sculpture, from ÒWeekend WaxÓ to Truman Presentation.

 

Note the struts supporting the soft wax figures.

 

One of the Duplicate Original Plaster Casts in de WeldonÕs Studio before bronzing.

One of the Duplicate Original Plaster Casts in de WeldonÕs (x-Bartlett) Studio

 

 

 

L to R: USMC PAO Officer, de Weldon, Treasury Official, Flag Raisers Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes & John Bradley

L to R: President Truman, de Weldon, Photographer Joe Rosenthal & Treasury Official (in the Oval Office)

 

The Original 1945 Letter directing de Weldon deliver the sculpture in the photo above to the White House for the Presentation to President Truman that same day.

 

One of the Duplicate Original Plaster Casts in de WeldonÕs (x-Bartlett) Studio) in the 1948 – 1951 period while the Marine Corps Memorial was under construction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document & Photo Group - B

Collection of Original 1945 Photos of Construction of the 1st Iwo Jima Monument: Including a

1945 photo of sculptor Felix de Weldon in his US Navy uniform of Painters Mate, 2nd Class.

 

 

 

In the summer/fall of 1945 the Marine Corps had 6 ÒvolunteersÓ help de Weldon build the 1st Monument.  An original copy of their orders is in this lot.

 

De Weldon at work on the 1st Monument in his new (x-Paul Bartlett) Studio in Washington, D.C.

Flag Raiser Rene Gagnon visits the 1st Monument in the new (x-Paul Bartlett) Studio in Washington, D.C.

Flag Raiser Ira Hayes posing for de Weldon in the new (x-Paul Bartlett) Studio in Washington, D.C.

 

Original de Weldon sketch for the design of the cut sheet metal flag of the 1st Monument

The 1st Monument under construction in the new (x-Paul Bartlett) Studio in Washington, D.C.

Flag Raiser John Bradley visits the 1st Monument in the new (x-Paul Bartlett) Studio in Washington, D.C.

 

Original 1945 de Weldon sketch for the design calculation and spacing of the legends on the base of the 1st Monument

 

          

In the summer/fall of 1945 the Marine Corps had 6 ÒvolunteersÓ help de Weldon build the 1st Monument.  These are original 1945 copies of their orders (included in this Group).

Also Included in this Group is a Collection of Copies of Nineteen 1945 Photos of the Construction of the Monument Supplied by Corp. James ÒLesÓ Gadbury, USMC, Ret., One of the MonumentÕs Builders

 

Corp. Gadbury occupies a unique place in Iwo Jima history:

 

1. He landed on Iwo Jima on February 19, 1945 ÒD-DayÓ with the 3rd Marine Division, fought and survived the battle.

 

2. He witnessed the Flag Raising on Mt. Suribachi on Feb. 23rd.

 

3. He was returned to the US, was stationed at Marine Corps Barracks, Washington, D.C. and was chosen as one of five ÒvolunteersÓ to report to De WeldonÕs studio to help build the first Iwo Jima Monument.

 

4. He took the photos included in this Group and was also present at the MonumentÕs Unveiling Ceremony on November 10, 1945.

 

 

Document & Photo Group - C

Collection of Original 1945 – 1952 photos of de Weldon Using the Sculpture Tools

 

De Weldon holding one of the large chisels in his right hand.

 

De Weldon holding the big enlarging calipers in his right hand.

 

De Weldon holding the big enlarging calipers in his right hand.

De Weldon holding one of the large chisels in his left hand.

 

De Weldon holding one of the large chisels in his right hand.

 

Document & Photo Group - D

Original 1945 Photo Group of The First Iwo Jima MonumentÕs Unveiling Ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

Note the sound recording equipment in the lower foreground which produced the original transcription platters included with this collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Document & Photo Group - E

Original 1945 Photo Group of The First Iwo Jima Monument After Its Unveiling.

 

Immediately after the Unveiling Ceremony Sculptor de Weldon poses in front of the Monument with Flag Raiser John Bradley who had posed for it in de WeldonÕs studio.  The flag flying on top of the top of the old Navy Department building is said to have been the one raised on Iwo Jima – and depicted in the Monument.

 

 

This photo has the famous Revolutionary ÒDrummer BoyÓ painting tipped in with a double negative darkroom development technique.

 

After the Unveiling Ceremony Flag Raiser Rene Gagnon and his wife stand in front of the Monument gazing at his likeness.  Gagnon had posed for it in de WeldonÕs studio.