National Civic Art Society Publishes its Report on Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial
We are proud to announce the publication of The Gehry Towers Over Eisenhower: The National Civic Art Society Report on Frank Gehry’s Eisenhower Memorial by Justin Shubow. Extensively researched and documented, the report is being distributed to Congress and other interested parties.
Among our explosive findings:
- The Eisenhower family opposes Frank Gehry’s design for the Memorial. The president’s grandson, the family’s sole representative on the Memorial Commission, has resigned from the Commission.
- The Memorial competition was secretive, exclusive, elitist, and undemocratic—if it was a true competition at all. Only 44 entries were solicited. This is hundreds fewer than the number of entries submitted in previous national memorial competitions, which were open to all.
- An unknown, unconnected designer could not have won, let alone even entered, the competition. It was thanks to America’s openness to talent that Eisenhower was able to rise to the presidency from a humble background. The Memorial competition should have been equally open.
- The Memorial’s only statue of Eisenhower depicts him as a life-size barefoot young boy, a shrinky-dink tikey Ikey. It is a travesty that cuts a great man down to size. Giving Eisenhower the boy treatment would be unthinkable were Eisenhower around to defend himself.
- The design of the boy Eisenhower statue is being advised by, Charles Ray, an artist whose work sexualizes children and is obscene.
- The statue of Ike as a Kansas farmer-boy is sentimental kitsch. This Happy McMonument does not befit a statesman who defeated the Nazis and who preserved America’s peace and prosperity. Leadership is not child’s play.
- The Memorial design has contained benches spelling out “IXXI,” the Roman numerals for 9 and 11. Whether this reference to the 9/11 attacks was intentional or negligent, the Memorial’s architect, Frank Gehry, can no longer be trusted with its design.
- In 2003, Gehry refused to help design a replacement for the Twin Towers since he was not offered enough money. That alone makes Gehry unworthy of Eisenhower, who exemplified selfless public service.
- The void at the heart of the Memorial makes it a temple to nothingness. It is a hollow temple, not a hallowed one.
- The Memorial’s crooked-appearing “columns” and tangled “tapestries” do not befit Eisenhower’s upright virtue.
- The Memorial’s titanic “columns” tower over the puny Ike statute. The result is a Leviathan Memorial swallowing a small-fry Eisenhower. The behemoth commemorates Gehry’s ego, not Eisenhower’s greatness and humility.
- Eisenhower would be disgusted at the planning and design of his Memorial. As he lamented in 1962, “What has happened to our concept of beauty and decency and morality?”