John Muir in Sculpture

John Muir Sculptures by Will Pettee


John Muir Bronze Sculpture in Yosemite Visitor Center

One of the most traditional ways to keeping the legacy of important people alive throughout the ages has been through sculpture. Until recently, John Muir has been under-represented in this all-important art form. There are only a few John Muir sculptures, usually one-of-a kind, often life-sized sculptures like the one pictured here on the right located in the Yosemite National Park Visitor Center.

Now, California sculptor Will Pettee is making available beautiful Muir sculptures and busts like those shown above available for a wider audience. By making affordable editions as well as classic sculptures for public spaces, Pettee is helping to inspire greater appreciation and more deserving recognition for Muir. John Muir is such an inspirational figure that he is today not seen as merely a historical personage, but time and again people of all ages today refer to him as their inspiration to "climb the mountains and get their glad tidings," and to revere and protect our beautiful Earth. Pettee's Muir sculptures deserve to be in every mountain-lovers home!

Will Pettee and hs wife Karen are also to be commended for spearheading a drive to raise $3000 for his existing "Mountain Muir" sculpture (shown below left) to be installed at the University of the Pacific (home of the John Muir papers since 1970), and an additional $3000 in order to install another "Mountain Muir" sculpture at The John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez - - a national park safeguarding the place where Muir wrote most of his inspiring conservation books and articles. And Will and Karen's vision doesn't stop there: they'd like to see life-size statues of John Muir placed on the grounds of The University of the Pacific, at Muir Woods, Yosemite and Dunbar, Scotland (his birthplace). Because these places are visited by people from all over the world, Muir sculptures there could help inspire visitors to take the message of conservation and preservation back to their own home, inspiring nature protection around the world.

Will Pettee explains his inspiration behind his "Mountain Man" sculpture like this:

Mountain Man Sculpture by Will Pettee"Of the numerous art forms, sculpture has been used not only to memorialize those important to us, but also to capture a moment in time forever. It was after my first climb to the top of Half Dome with my wife, that I was inspired to create a sculpture of John Muir. As I stood atop that high granite formation above the valley floor, I could only imagine how he would have felt being one of the first visitors to view the breathtaking magic that is Yosemite Valley. We want to give lasting thanks to one man who made a difference with his words and in his deeds. Through this bronze sculpture we can keep his memory alive for centuries to come."

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In addition, here are links to other images and information about existing John Muir sculptures:

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