25 November 2008 by Published in: General musings 17 comments

From today’s issue of the Hanover Sun newspaper:

Spot for Lincoln statue sought
By ERIN JAMES
Evening Sun Reporter
Posted: 11/25/2008 08:36:06 AM EST

Anyone got room for a nine-foot-tall statue of Abraham Lincoln?

A Salt Lake City-based sculptor has offered his latest art project to Gettysburg Borough officials on the condition that they find a place for it. And the town’s Borough Council is open to suggestions from the public – though they’ve got a list of potential Lincoln locales already in the works.

At the top of the list are two locations – the Adams County Public Library and Alumni Park, both on Baltimore Street in the borough – that council members Susan Naugle and John Butterfield said they are most strongly considering.

Other potential locations include the Lincoln Train Station on Carlisle Street, the future site of an Adams County Transportation Authority transit center on Carlisle Street, the Gettysburg Presbyterian Church on Baltimore Street and a spot in front of a York Street business.

Lincoln Square was also discussed as a possibility but will likely be dismissed because another Lincoln statue already resides there.

However, Naugle and Butterfield said they would prefer the Baltimore Street locations because of their proximity to other tourist attractions. If those plans move forward, it will be up to the library’s board and the Gettysburg Area School District – which owns Alumni Park – whether the statue could be placed on their properties.

The search for Lincoln locales is not over, however. No decision has been made by the full Borough Council, and Butterfield said officials are open to suggestions from the public about where Stanley Watts’ statue of Lincoln would best serve Gettysburg.

Watts has already begun work on the statue, for which he is using actual casts of Lincoln’s face and hands. The statue will portray Lincoln giving his famous Gettysburg Address, and a copy of the speech will be held in his hand and legible to viewers, Watts has said.

Watts had wanted the statue to be installed before Lincoln’s 200th birthday in February, but council members said that is unlikely to happen. The sculptor’s proposal to Gettysburg officials was made only recently.

Anyone with suggestions on where to place the statue should call borough Secretary Sara Stull at (717) 334-1160, extension 221.

Contact Erin James at ejames@eveningsun.com.

It would appear that the supply of statues of Old Abe outstrips the demand, at least in Gettysburg. Who’da thunk it?

Scridb filter

Comments

  1. Tue 25th Nov 2008 at 11:38 pm

    They should auction it off and give the money to preservation.

    HA! That’s likely…

  2. Wed 26th Nov 2008 at 10:00 am

    Place the statue outside that “Battlefield” H-D Dealership. Have Lincoln holding a sign, “Loud Pipes Disturb the Battlefield.”

  3. Thu 27th Nov 2008 at 12:11 am

    …Or “No Casino”!

  4. Tue 16th Jun 2009 at 10:29 am

    I feel I must warn you about the “big bad statue” coming your way. I have been following the story of the Lincoln statue for Gettysburg, a prestigious monument that should be done by a professional, well trained artist. Stan Watts of Utah is a scam artist who has saddled others with bad donated art. Abraham Lincoln deserves better.

    Watts lies about his education and training. He claims to have been a student of the famous Avard Fairbanks, but only met him once casually. He claims to have been a student at Utah State University. He wasn’t. He promises high quality art work and it is awful. In reality, this man has never received any professional training at all.

    Unlike skilled professional artists he can’t rely on commissions or art competitions to get a sculpting job. Watts tries to build his resume by offering donated statues. He is a smooth talker who convinces well meaning, trusting donors to pay for a statue which is donated to a prestigious organization like yours. Because it is a “gift” there is no quality or artistic oversight. This dubious practice forced the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to put a moratorium on accepting statues to stop a flow of bad quality, donated religious artwork.

    I urge you to verify the background and training of this man before you accept his work. Get proof of his art education. Watts is known to “charm” his way by appealing to the patriotic or religious emotions of his perspective client. Please be vigilant or you will end up with a monstrous, sloppy creation and a lien. Please keep in mind that “big and free “does not always mean “good.” As a long time admirer of Abraham Lincoln, I would like to see this statue done by a well trained, professional artist.

    Please understand that I write this because I have seen Watts take advantage of others and do not want to see it happen again. I too am an artist and have known Watts for years. I am not trying to get this job for myself but simply want to warn you to check his credentials. This shady business hurts all real artists.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Stan Watts or his reputation.

  5. Paul
    Thu 25th Jun 2009 at 9:35 am

    Sell it and give the money to John Latschar for fencing, etc.

  6. Rich Linford
    Tue 17th Nov 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Blog Post
    regarding Richard D Young post

    Richard W Linford Esq response
    November 17, 2009 3:30 pm MST

    To: Mr. Eric Wittenberg, Civil War Historian

    My client Stan Watts called me today and asked me to respond to a June 16, 2009 post to your Blog by Richard D Young that keeps surfacing on the Internet periodically when Stan’s name is typed in. To begin with, I am a great friend to Stan and I want everyone to know that I have served as Stan’s attorney for a number of years so I know Stan personally and about Stan’s sculptures and business activities and I confirm that I have yet to see Stan do anything dishonest or improper as has been alleged by Mr. Young. Let me say upfront that the primary source of criticism of Stan, Richard D Young, in his post leaves us with the impression that he is merely a “competitor to Stan,” when in fact, Richard D Young is Stan’s brother in law. For whatever personal reason, and since Stan ceased to work with Mr. Young many years ago, Mr. Young has seen fit to occupy part of his time harassing Mr. Watts not only on this project but on several of Stan’s other projects. So in evaluating this matter, we all need to take Mr. Young’s activities and comments with a pound of salt. From either a journalistic point of view or a legal point of view, this undisclosed fact calls into question some if not all of the facts in Mr. Young’s post, borders on slander if it is not outright slander of Mr. Watts, and negates much if not all of the credibility of Richard D Young’s post.

    Regarding Stan’s track record as a significant sculptor of our time, in his 48 year life Stan has created, placed and sold a large number of masterpiece works of bronze sculpture that will last through the ages including but not limited to his George Washington Equestrian at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, his Founding Fathers and The Declaration of Independence at Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge and also at The Raymond James billionaire collection in Florida, his Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith Equestrian at the Nauvoo Illinois Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, his William Shakespeare’s “Titania” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Cedar City, Utah at The Shakespeare Festival site, his “To Lift A Nation” Forty Foot Monument of The Three Firemen Lifting The Flag at Ground Zero now at Emmitsburg, Maryland, his Seabiscuit Equestrian now in California, his monument at Berea College commemorating the first integrated school in the United States, his “Litigation” American Bison fighting for Supremacy, his Pioneer Handcart Family in a Prayer of thanks titled “Journey’s End” now placed in Salt Lake City, his Joseph Smith Jr. Reading James 1:5 in the Bible titled “Leaning into the light.” And this is only a partial list. These and other monuments are now installed throughout the nation.

    Stan’s work speaks for itself. One can see the quality of Stan’s work at his website which provides more than ample evidence of Stan’s ability, training, experience and highest standards of professionalism. Regarding Stan’s education, Stan does not shy away from the fact that in large measure he is self taught as is the case with all great artists. And Stan is grateful for the principles he learned from Avard Fairbanks both personally and from studying Mr. Fairbank’s sculptures.

    Regarding Stan’s approach to the business of sculpting, the work of creating a monument or for that matter and to be specific the work of creating Stan’s now priceless Gettysburg Lincoln Monument is a process not an event. Those who underwrite and fund such monuments and donate them have always been reluctant to do so until the monument is sculpted and has a home. Contrary to Richard D Young’s myopic view of the industry, such monuments are seldom commissioned and placed by amateur or professional competitions and a bidding process. Such monuments are commissioned and placed because of a sculptor’s track record and the quality of his work. I recently saw Stan’s Lincoln monument and can only say that it captures the essence of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

    Once Stan posts a picture of his Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address monument to his website each person can judge for herself or himself. Stan’s website is http://www.atlasbronzecasting.com

    Best regards, Richard Linford, Esq.

  7. LeAnn Clayton
    Tue 06th Jul 2010 at 11:55 pm

    This message is written to the readers of Hanover Sun newspaper, to others who may come to this site, for what ever purposes, but especially in response to (comment #6 above) Mr. Linford, Stan Watts’ great friend and attorney.

    I would imagine, Mr. Linford, you really are a great friend to Mr. Watts, but I am here to inform you that he has not returned you the favor. If you truly believe that all of the above statues were created and sculpted by your friend Mr. Watts, then you have been misinformed. Stan has abused your friendship and used you for his own purposes, just as he abused and used my brother, Charles Daryl “Dario” Grangroth.

    I am responding to your comments because Dario cannot. My brother died, February 8, 2010. Dario was getting ready to expose Stan Watts himself when he died unexpectedly.

    Let me tell you why I believe you are being used by this man. Five of the sculptures that you have mentioned in the above paragraph are not sculpted by Stan Watts but have actually and truthfully been sculpted by my brother Dario (I know this as fact!). They are, the “Founding Fathers” (my brother actually did this in several sizes), “Titania”, at the Shakespearean Festival in Cedar City, Utah, “To Lift a Nation” (my reference to this sculpture is, the one that is the small scale model, the 1st one done from the original pictures given of the actual firemen that lifted the flag. Not the monstrosity that sits in Emmitsburg, Md). “Berea School” the monument at Berea College commemorating the first integrated school in the United States, and “Journeys End” which is at the “This is the Place Heritage Park” in Salt Lake City, let me add that Stan did do the handcart.

    Just an FYI for everyone – the word “FRAUD” means to trick, deceit, trickery; cheating. Intentional deception to cause a person to give up property or some lawful right. Something said or done to deceive; trick; artifice. A person who deceives or who is not what he or she pretends to be; imposter; cheat.

    In reality Stan Watts is responsible for depriving Dario of the recognition, livelihood, and legacy that are rightfully his.

    Mr. Linford, please let me address Stan Watts’ real track record. In the past 12 years Mr. Watts has used and abused my brother in absolutely degrading and shameful ways. 1) He has literally stolen Dario’s “God given talent” and ‘claimed’ it as his own. Stan would put his own name on Dario’s statues, telling those he sold them to, that he was the sculptor. To me, this was certainly intentional, deceitful, and fully makes Stan an imposter. 2) Stan Watts would not sign a contract with Dario, which he asked for many, many, many times! Stan would make big promises of money and later not pay the amount agreed on or tell Dario he changed his mind on the size, causing him to work twice as long for the same amount of money. There were times when both of these situations took place in regards to one piece. 3) He kept Dario in poverty. In 2005 the IRS declared Dario a ‘hardship case’. He qualified for food stamps and had State help on his utilities. When Dario died, he was 6 months behind in his rent and owed nearly $1000 in utility bills. Over the years I brought Dario food many times and loaned him money to help. Other family members did the same. Frequently Dario would eat at our 86 year old mothers’ house, because he had no food in his own.

    Also, Mr. Linford, you mention Stan Watts’ website, which you claim “provides more than ample evidence of Stan’s ability, training, experience and highest standards of professionalism”. Well, off the top of my head, there are 14 statues on Stan Watts’ website that I personally can identify as Dario’s Sculptures. (www.atlasbronzecasting.com/) And a half dozen more that I’m still researching from his website.

    Let me tell you about Dario’s education. Even though he had a gift that was recognized very early on, an education was still very important to him. Why would he want to limit himself? He graduated from the Minneapolis School of Art and Design on May 8th, 1970, receiving his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree. Those four years of learning were so important to Dario, he kept his acceptance letter and his graduation program. Dario worked hard to develop the talents that he had, and spent nearly 40 years using them. If you go back and read the article in the Deseret News, September 11, 2006, you’ll remember, Stan tells everyone himself, that he flunked out of sculpting….. You can go into http://www.deseretnews.com (If your not familiar, the article starts with ‘To Lift a Nation’) and check it out.

    All I have to say, is that Dario’s (not Stan Watts’) work speaks for itself. The five statues I’ve pointed out from the above paragraph, that you believe are Stan Watts’, are a mere fraction of the statues that Dario did and Stan Watts sold as ‘his own’. When you come to know Dario’s talent, you will easily recognize the difference.

    Before I close I would like everyone to know, I am not putting this information out there lightly or without having done my own research.
    Dario and Stan Watts’ relationship with each other was a sterile one from the very beginning.

    And now I must inform you all, that the Lincoln sculpture you are now contemplating on placing in your community was sculpted by my brother, Dario Grangroth (the original small scale Lincoln).

    Dario’s work here is done, but my work is just beginning.

    I’d like to leave you with a quote from one of Dario’s journals, December 3rd, 1974. “My talents are very special to me. I’m working hard to develop them; and it seems I receive more talents and abilities as time goes on. Life is “frustrating” because of my imagination. I receive so many ideas that can be done (in many mediums) that my hands can’t keep up with them. I get excited about them all…..”.

    This creative process for Dario never changed.

    Dario’s Sis, LeAnn Clayton

  8. Richard W Linford
    Mon 12th Jul 2010 at 7:19 pm

    To LeAnn Clayton.

    LeAnn,

    I extend to you and to your family my sympathy and my condolences regarding the untimely death of your brother Dario Crangroth.

    Mr. Watts extended at the time and does continue to extend his sympathy and his condolences as well and is grateful for Dario’s work when he worked at the foundry.

    May God bless you and your family in the days and months and years to come.

    Best regards,

    Richard W. Linford

  9. J David Grangrothh
    Thu 15th Jul 2010 at 4:21 pm

    To Whom it may concern,

    I am saddened by the callous comments of the anonymous contributor about the character of my brother Dario. You obviously have no trouble denigrating the dead or kicking someone when they are down. I can only guess who you are, but it seems you had close interaction with Dario and treated him with this same contempt while he was alive.

    Stan Watts and his family took advantage of Dario BECAUSE of his addiction, treated him with disrespect, crushed his self-esteem, withheld just payment for his work, stole his talent and credit for his artwork.

    Dario’s brother,
    J David Grangroth

  10. LeAnn Clayton
    Thu 15th Jul 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Mr. Linford,

    Thank you for expressing your condolences on the passing of Dario. You should know however, that no one in our family has received any condolences, or mention of his death, from Stan Watts since Dario died. The last words that Dario or anyone in our family has heard from Stan or his wife, Renee, was when Renee picked up the Angel statue from Dario at his studio (the last piece that he produced) and begrudgingly gave him $200, saying to him, “AND THAT’S ALL YOUR GOING TO GET”!, leaving a balance of $500 cheating him, yet again, out of promised payment. The day before, Dario and his mother delivered this statue to Atlas Bronze…he expected full payment on the balance due, which was $700. At that time Renee offered him $5 payment in full (this is no exaggeration or typo). He refused to leave the statue under those conditions. The attitude Renee showed him on those days, was common treatment of Dario by Renee.

    Let us make this perfectly clear, that Dario was not an employee of Stan Watts, he was an independent artist.

    We understand Mr. Linford, that you are representing your client, but you should take the time to have a better understanding of who he is and his treatment of Dario.

    Referencing comment #9: We understand how scarred they must be at this time, but we’d like to thank them for validating everything that we’ve said. Now, let us add this, that Dario DID create and sculpt the original that Stan is about to unveil of the “French Freedom Fighters”. (Dario’s original small scale model was used to reproduce the larger one).

    As a family we ask you to communicate to Stan, that we expect him to publicly acknowledge which pieces were created by Dario (as he did with the Hockey Players, Pursuit of Excellence” in front of the E-Center, West Valley City, Utah) and to stop reproducing and selling them as his own creations. And we do know which pieces they are.

    Dario’s family,
    Phyllis, David, Bruce, LeAnn and Wendy

  11. Thu 15th Jul 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Mr. Gangroth,

    I own this site.

    I am traveling this weekend, and hence did not see that horrific and inappropriate comment until just a few moments ago. Please be assured that the comment has been deleted, and I have blocked the IP address of the person who left it. We won’t see him here again.

    While I am not responsible for the behavior of my readers, I nevertheless want to tell you that I really regret that such a horrendous comment was left here, and I was appalled by it. I acted on it immediately upon learning of it.

    Eric

  12. Sun 06th Nov 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Mr.Linford
    So what ever happened to the so called Gettysburg Lincoln statue? I know for a fact it was never on display at the Utah State Capital, as Mr. Watts lies again “Bronze sculpture of Abraham Lincoln shown here on display in the Utah State Capitol building” on his website he has done a little photo shop with scale model in the basement of the capital , without there permission .

  13. Sun 06th Nov 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I should in all fairness I should ad my websites
    http://www.bronzportraits.net
    http://www.custommemorialstatues.com
    http://www.veteransmemorialstatues.com

    Great artwork we don’t have to lie about !

    Richard Young

  14. Sun 06th Nov 2011 at 4:49 pm

    my bad
    http://www.bronzeportraits.net

    Richard

  15. Sun 06th Nov 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Mr. Young,

    This website does not exist for you to pursue your personal feud/vendetta. This is your last post doing so. You are welcome to continue to post here, so long as it’s not intended to continue your vendetta. If you cannot obey my rules, you will quickly find your IP address banned and your comments deleted.

    It ends NOW.

    I trust that I have made myself abundantly clear.

    Eric J. Wittenberg
    Site owner

  16. charmaine grangroth milner
    Thu 30th Aug 2012 at 1:48 pm

    i was married to dario grangroth for many wonderful years. i know what this family is talking about because there were numerous people that wanted to steal from dario,s god given talents. i always addored his family and still do. i spoke with dario numerous times over the years and was often told about this so called artist. dario was a caring, giving man that thought often of others rather than himself and because of that he was constantly being taken advantage of. i hope that this so called artist that stole from dario can only live with himself after he has admitted his wrong doing. i can spot dario,s artwork a mile away. we all know what really happened before his trajic death. “Dario, i will love you forever. you were the love of my life. you will be missed.”

    Charmaine Grangroth Milner

  17. Thu 30th Aug 2012 at 5:22 pm

    Ms. Milner,

    I regret your loss.

    However, was there some part of “this thread is over” that you did not understand?

    To repeat: this discussion is OVER NOW.

    All further comments will be deleted and all IP addresses will be blacklisted. This is not negotiable. There is no right of appeal. This is your only warning.

    Eric Wittenberg
    Site owner

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