WAUPUN — “A Bronze Age: The Life & Legacy of Clarence Shaler”—the new permanent exhibit—held its grand opening on Saturday, March 11th. The exhibit includes the story of how Clarence Shaler built his industrial empire, his works throughout his life, and images of every statue he sculpted.
“The sculptures in our community are a point of pride for virtually everyone,” Zac Dickhut said in the unveiling ceremony. “It was important for us to make sure we were sharing the original meanings of the sculptures.”
While Waupun is known for having a large selection of outdoor bronze sculptures from Shaler, many of his original sculptures were smaller and made of porcelain. Tragically, many of the original sculptures are unaccounted for, but the museum has photographs of all along with the artist’s intent. Each sculpture had a printed card with the original interpretations behind the piece, some being a full page long.
“There’s a lot of people who appreciate the sculptures as fine works of art,” Dickhut continued, “but the artists who created them had original messages that they thought were important, so this is a space to recognize those interpretations that they had and the contributions of Clarence Shaler. Not only to our local art collections, but also to the state and the country in terms of his inventions and business acumen.”
At the end of the speech, Dickhut thanked Steve Biever for helping put together the exhibit, the Warrior Innovation Center for printing the images in the window displays, as well as the caterers from Main Street Bistro and Bakery.
Main Street Bistro and Bakery is owned and operated by Todd and Shae Cupery who will be opening for business in the location of the former Goose Shot. While no date has been set for their grand opening, they are excited to open as Waupun’s newest eatery soon.
The Waupun Heritage Museum is open to the public Wednesdays 3:30PM to 7PM and Saturdays 10AM to 2PM.