The driving forces behind the project were Marshall Fogel, Rose’s biographer, and Paul Shamon. The two men met at Fogel’s lecture on Rose in February 2019. Seventy-four years after his tragic death, General Rose remained a forgotten Colorado hero. From what they could tell, there were also no state monuments to Jewish Coloradans. Shamon and Fogel set out to change that by constructing a monument in honor of General Rose.
The Monument of Major General Maurice Rose was designed by one of Colorado’s leading sculptors, George Lundeen of Loveland, Colorado. Approached by Fogel and Shamon, Lundeen agreed to create the monument after learning about Rose, saying that “the more you read about him the more respect you have for him.”
With a sculptor secured, the newly formed Rose Monument Fund approached the Colorado state legislature. Thanks to the support of House Speaker Alec Garnett and Representative Patrick Neville, the state legislature unanimously passed a joint resolution allowing the placement of the General Rose Monument on state capitol grounds in July 2021.
Raising the $500,000 needed to build, display and maintain the monument was a community endeavor. Though the Covid-19 pandemic and supply chain issues in 2020 and 2021 delayed the project, installation of the monument began in November 2022, and an official unveiling ceremony is scheduled for Memorial Day 2023.
Creating the Statue
For sculptor George Lundeen, it was an honor to craft a monument to a Colorado hero, but there was a personal element to this sculpture as well. "In World War II... my father was a glider pilot... he would have been there to wave at [Rose] as he drove in with his tanks."
Designing a monument the size and scale of Rose requires great attention to historical detail. Lundeen assembled Rose’s attire from photographs of the man himself and a variety of artifacts including a pair of WWII-era binoculars from Ebay and a pair of historically-accurate boots custom-made by a cobbler from the Hollywood movie industry.
After the design and placement of the monument were finalized, it took about 6 months for Lundeen and his team to create the sculpture in their Loveland studio.
The model cavalry boot next to the massive boot of the Rose monument.
About the Sculptor:
Born and raised in Holdridge, Nebraska, George Lundeen was an artist from a very young age. He holds a bachelors of arts from Hastings College and a masters in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois, later continuing his study of sculpture in Florence and Rome. After falling in love with Loveland, Colorado, he established a sculpting studio in the town in the mid-1970s where he still lives and works. Lundeen has been commissioned to sculpt for a diverse array of clients, including universities, municipalities, foundations, and corporations. Some of his notable works include a statue of Elrey B. Jeppesen in the Denver International Airport, two pieces in Statuary Hall in the US capitol building, and "the Player" monument located outside Coors Field in downtown Denver.
After the sculpture design is finalized, a full sized clay model of the sculpture is created.
A rubber solution is painted over the clay and cut open. Put back together, it creates a rubber mold.
Hot wax is poured into the rubber mold to create a wax cast.
The wax cast is covered with a ceramic shell material, which is baked. The wax melts, the ceramic fires, and a new ceramic mold is created.
The finished sculpture is installed.
A patina is added to the final sculpture– different chemicals and different types of heat are applied to add color to the sculpture.
The bronze is sandblasted, filed and polished to remove oils and create the appropriate texture.
Bronze, heated to 1000°C is poured into the ceramic mold. After drying for a few hours, the ceramic shell is hammered off, leaving a bronze cast.
If the sculpture is large, it is created in pieces and welded together prior to the next step. The Rose monument was created from 40-50 separate bronze pieces.