Saturday, January 10, 2009 Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_Radio

Michael_Jackson_Talk_Radiocapitalust a few moments of your time to pay tribute to a great contemporary sculptor, for whom there was a stirring memorial Mass on Wednesday morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Robert Graham was undoubtedly the leading public artist in Los Angeles. In his lifetime he became best known for important sculptures across the country, including tributes to FDR, having crafted the Roosevelt memorial in Washington, to Joe Louis in Detroit, Duke Ellington in New York City and Charlie "Bird" Parker in Kansas City. His best known subject was the female body, which he explored in hundreds of works, large and small. He loved women.


Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMy wife and I have been collecting his work for fully 20 years and have never regretted any of our acquisitions. We considered him a friend of long standing. His contributions to the art and statuary world will long keep his memory fresh. His widow, actress Angelica Huston, was eloquent in her comments, as was California's First Lady, Maria Shriver.
Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioThe service was conducted by Cardinal Roger M. Mahoney who lauded his artistic achievement as well as his endearing personal qualities. The Cardinal recounted some of his experiences with Robert Graham during the design process for what the artist considered his most important work; the enormous bronze doors to the cathedral. Mahoney noted that Robert insisted upon making the cathedral doors open inward as a welcoming gesture to all who entered. That broke the city code requiring doors of public buildings to open outward. With a big smile Cardinal Mahoney said to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, "Please don't tell the building department. It's too late."
Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioIt was a splendid, clear -skied, winter's day in Los Angeles and at least a thousand turned out to pay their respects; film stars, artists, his family and friends, politicians; the old and the young.
Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioThe Governor of California attended. His wife had the best line of the morning. Maria Shriver in a personal tribute to her friend Robert said, simply, "He was a work of art, and his life was a masterpiece."
Michael_Jackson_Talk_RadioMichael_Jackson_Talk_RadioGood friend, rest in peace.

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