PG County Sculptor Works on Statue to Be Displayed in US Capitol

HYATTSVILLE WIRE: A Brentwood sculptor is working on a statue that is destined to be displayed in National Statuary Hall in the US Capitol.

Steven Weitzman is working on a bronze statue of Barbara Rose Johns, a teen-aged girl whose protest of segregation led to the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

Each state is allowed two statues in the collection to represent its history. In 2020, a commission from the state of Virginia chose Johns to replace Confederate General Robert E. Lee which has already been removed. The state’s other statue is of George Washington.

Weitzman has experience with commemorative statues, having sculpted a statue of anti-slavery advocate Frederick Douglass installed in the Capitol and another of longtime D.C. Mayor Marion Barry outside of a D.C. municipal building.

He’s also created sculptures for the United Nations building and the National Zoo.

Johns led a student strike at the all-Black Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia, in 1951 that became the only student-led court case among the various lawsuits folded into the Brown decision.

“It’s truly a remarkable story by a remarkable person because, keep in mind, that in 1951, Martin Luther King Jr. was still going to college,” Weitzman said recently.

He has already carved a wooden model based off of photographs and is talking with family members who knew her about how to make it more life like.


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