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John Muir in Sculpture

For updated and expanded information, see John Muir in Sculpture (off-site link to John Muir Global Network)

Click on a thumbnail image for a larger photo or more information.

Photo Malvana Hoffman 1919 Sculpture of John Muir at American Museum of Natural  HistoryBronze Bust of John Muir at American Museum of Natural History

This sculpture of John Muir, located in the North American Forestry Hall of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, was executed by sculptor Malvana Hoffman in 1919. Photo by Wally Gobetz, via Flickr, CC_BY-NC-ND_2.0.

Photo of  Wooden Sculpture of John Muir at Project Green, Visalia, Photo by Harold Wood Commemorative Plaque for John Muir Memorial Shelter by sculptor Paul DiPasquale, Richmond, Virginia.

A bas relief of John Muir and William Colby are part of the 2016 commemorative bronze plaque for the John Muir Memorial Shelter (AKA Muir Hut) in Kings Canyon National Park. See Trulli Inspired by Tom Valtin for a report about the dedication ceremony held on August 25, 2016 at the John Muir Memorial Shelter. The plaque will be installed in summer of 2017.

Photo of  Wooden Sculpture of John Muir at Project Green, Visalia, Photo by Harold Wood Wooden sculpture of John Muir by R.L. Blair

Formerly located on Hwy 99 near Visalia, California, now located near Lemon Cove on Hwy 198, California, on the way to Sequoia National Park. Wood sculpture by R.L. Blair. Carved in summer of 1989 - see photo of carving with the artist shortly after completion.
(file size = 17 kilobytes.)
Photo by Harold Wood, April, 2016.

Location on Google Maps

[bronze bust] Bronze Bust by Bruce Kueffer

Located at the Holt-Atherton Library of the University of the Pacific. Sculptor Bruce Kueffer was killed in 1998 in a train accident.
(file size = 13 kilobytes)



Thumbnail of John Muir Tryptych by Tom Fitzwater

John Muir Tryptych by Tom Fitzwater, Sculptor
(The John Muir Memorial Tryptych, Commemorating his One Hundred and Fiftieth Birthday on April 21, 1988.)
(File size = 75 K)

Wax figure of John Muir at Edinburgh Art Centre, August, 1999, photo by Graham White

Wax Figure of John Muir at Edinburgh Art Centre, Scotland (August, 1999) -"Infinite Storm of Beauty Exhibition"- Photo by Graham White
file size = 53 K

Bust of John Muir by C.S. Pietro

Bronze Bust of John Muir by the Sculptor C. S. Pietro at the University of Wisconsin.

For a picture of the unveiling ceremony and more information, see Address Delivered by Charles R. Van Hise upon the Occasion of the Unveiling, December 6, 1916 (offsite link).
Photo used by permission from Wisconsin Electronic Reader.

This sculpture is now located in the biology department at University of Wisconsin. See July 2003 Photo by Harold Wood

[photo of statue of John Muir in Martinez]

Statue of Muir in John Muir Memorial Park, Martinez, California

Sculpted by Phillip Levine. This statue was dedicated in 1990.
A near-by plaque reads:
"John Muir, 1838-1914. 'I care to live only to entice people to look at nature's loveliness .'A gift to the community of Martinez from Shell Oil Company to commemorate its 75 years in Martinez. December 6, 1990."
Photograph by Harold Wood, October 14, 2000.

John Muir Statue at John Muir Medical Center,  Walnut Creek, California

Statue of Muir at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California

Sculpted by Phillip Levine and sons.
Photograph by Harold Wood.

Thumbnail of Statue of John Muir as a Boy in Dunbar Scotland photo by Graham White

Statue of John Muir as a boy, Dunbar Scotland - Photo by Graham White
file size = 69 K

Bust of John Muir at John Muir National Historic Site,  Photo by Krista Kennell

Bust of Muir at John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California

Photograph © by Krista Kennell 2001, used by permission.

John Muir Statue at Villa Montalvo Center for the Arts,  Saratoga, California, Photo by Janice Albert

Bust of Muir at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California.

Ironically, this bust is located on the grounds of Villa Montalvo, the former country home of Muir's nemesis on the Hetch Hetchy battle, James Phelan, then mayor of the city of San Francisco.

Sculpted by Gertrude Boyle Kanno
Photograph by Janice Albert.

Miniature bust of John  Muir by Impressions UK Miniature Bust of John Muir by Impressions Scotland, Ltd.

Handcrafted and hand painted in Scotland by Impressions Scotland, Ltd. Material is herculite, a cold cast ceramic. 5 1/4 inches high.

Bust of John Muir by RR Hampton III, 1985

John Muir Bust by RR Hampton III

This bust is in bronze, placed on a granite plinth, with a title plaque: JOHN MUIR 1838-1914. The back is inscribed RR HAMPTON III 1985.
The bust has been on display at John Muir's Birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland, operated by the John Muir Birthplace Charitable Trust, which works with partner organisations Dunbar Community Council, East Lothian Council - Museums, Friends of John Muir's Birthplace, and the John Muir Trust.

Photo copyright and provided here courtesy of the East Lothian Museums Service.

Bust of Andrew M. Lostar

John Muir Bust by Andrew M. Lostar

From the Yosemite National Park collection.


Bust of John Muir by Meera Censor, 2002

John Muir Bust by Meera Censor, 2002

This bust is available in bronze or hydrastone from the sculptor. It is part of the sculptor's series on S Humanitarians for Justice, Non-violence, and Peace.

The sculptor, Meera Censor, observes that while Muir "did not work for nonviolent social change in the usual ways, I believe his dedication to saving environmental beauty merits adding his life and works to this series of humanitarians. Beautiful places of nature are often sources of peace and improved spirit. John Muir's wisdom and vision for preserving these places is a nonviolent contribution that shall benefit generations to come. His life story is fascinating, traveling by foot across the United States he fell in love with the beauty of this country. Preserving the treasures of this country, natures cathedrals created a life mission."


John Muir Sculpture in Yosemite National Park Visitor Center

John Muir Bronze Statue at Yosemite Visitor Center

A life-size bronze statue of John Muir is included as part of the new interactive Visitor Center exhibits at Yosemite National Park, unveiled April 13, 2007. With a photographic panorsama in the background, and room for visitors to have their picutre taken next to Muir, the sculpture is one of the most photographed exhibits in the new Visitor Center. Commissioned by the National Park Service, the sculptor was Bridget Keimel. The head and hands were sculpted in clay, while the hat, clothing, and boots were put on a frame prior to the lost wax casting to make the bronze. (Source: Victoria Mates, Branch Chief of Interpretation, Yosemite National Park, who served on the original project management team. 7-20-10)

Click on the thumbnail to see a full-size image.

Photo © 2007 by Harold Wood.

John Muir Sculpture in Yosemite National Park Visitor Center

Bronze Statue of John Muir at John Muir National Historic Site

This bronze statue of John Muir is featured in the Visitor Center at the John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California.

Click on the thumbnail to see a full-size image.

Photo © 2016 by Harold Wood.

Sculpture 1 of 2 by Will Pettee, 2010

"Mountain Muir" - Sculpture 1 of 2 by Will Pettee, 2010

The sculptor, William Pettee, explains his inspiration for creating this bronze sculpture as follows:

Yosemite has been one of my favorite destinations since I was a child, and as homage to Mr. Muir, I felt inspired to sculpt him in bronze at that wondrous location. The statue is intended to picture Mr. Muir as he stands upon a cliff edge and looks out over the wonders of Yosemite Valley.

This limited editon sculpture was installed in 2011 at the Holt Atherton Library at University of the Pacific. The sculpture was funded by Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11th) and writer Martin Cheek (co-authors of Clean Energy Nation: Freeing America from the Tyranny of Fossil Fuels).

WJP Studios

Sculpture 1 of 2 by Will Pettee, 2010

"Nature's Prophet" - Sculpture 2 of 2 by Will Pettee, 2010

John Muir sits upon a boulder in Nature’s cathedral, his eyes alighting upon the wonders that have been the source of his daily inspiration. His mind races to find a way to put into mere words a way to describe what can only be experienced. Like the prophet Moses leading his people into the wilderness, so too has he come to free us from our troubles and tell us all….

"Keep close to Nature's heart...and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." ~ John Muir

From the Artist: “John Muir inspires me everyday to be a better steward of the environment and to do my best to preserve and protect it and I would like to share that inspiration with others. I am devoted to keeping the memory of John Muir and his legacy alive in the best way I know how. Being an artist, this has been to create him in sculpture.

WJP Studios


The Visionary - John Muir at Age 34 (1872) - Bust 1 of 2 by Will Pettee

The Visionary - John Muir at Age 34 (1872 - Bust 1 of 2 by Will Pettee, 2011

Depicts John Muir at age 34 (1872) when he was a visionary reasearching his Yosemite Valley Glacier theory and began publishing his articles.

WJP Studios

The Inspiration - John Muir at Age 52 (1890) - Bust 2 of 2 by Will PetteeThe Inspiration - John Muir at Age 52 (1890) - Bust 2 of 2 by Will Pettee, 2011

Depicts John Muir later in life when Yosemite became a National Park. Two years later he founded the Sierra Club.

WJP Studios


The Inspiration - John Muir at Age 52 (1890) - Bust 2 of 2 by Will PetteeThe Begats by James Muir, 2017

Bronze Limited Edition
H 7" x W 6" x D 5"

"In the beginning there was John Muir, who begat Aldo Leopold, who begat Gaylord Nelson, who begat Earth Day."

The initial concept involves a "Socratic" – type discussion between John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson.

Muir is standing above the others, in deference to his status as the "founding father" of ecological and conservation awareness. His ubiquitous walking stick, resembling a staff, reflects his being the good "shepherd", leading humanity through nature's wilderness.

Leopold is kneeling by his side, as the "student" of John Muir and has just planted a young sapling to replace the one nature has "re-claimed."

Nelson is seated, cross-legged, Indian fashion on the ground, right hand upon the fallen tree, to denote "Earth Day", as well as his being the "offspring" of both Muir and Leopold.

All are dressed in the attire most typical of their "working clothes."

Because of the possibility that they may be going lifesize, the sculptor chose not to seat them on a bench – too urban, nor on tree stumps – too reflective of commercial exploitation, nor even on a rock – too insensitive to the earth. As depicted, they are standing, kneeling and sitting by a beaver-cut tree. This selected portrayal not only pays homage to the symbiotic relationship of all living things in nature, but also provides a central spot for the viewer to sit/stand and feel like an equal participant in the conversation.

The Inspiration - John Muir at Age 52 (1890) - Bust 2 of 2 by Will PetteeJohn Muir by Homer Daehn

This bas relief cast in bronze of John Muir was created by Baraboo, Wisconsin wood carver and clay sculptor Homer Daehn. It has been permanently installed at the Sierra Club's legislative offices in Washington, D.C., as shown here. Daehn hopes the sculpture - depicting Muir deep in thought, chin on hand - prods future environmentalists to study the man's work. "Maybe it'll inspire someone," Daehn said. "The idea of doing this is to make people aware of the environment."

Daehn is shown here with his sculpture in Washington D.C. at the unveiling of the sculpture on May 28, 2015, the 123rd anniversary of the founding of the Sierra Club. He worked on the piece for several years before it was purchased by an anonymous donor from Madison, Wisconsin, who gave it to the Sierra Club.

Photo by Jim Dougherty.



John Muir Luminary Art Bench - by Michael Ginattasio - ChicoJohn Muir Luminary Art Bench

This concrete and bronze "art bench" features a portrait of John Muir on its side. The rings of a tree are depicted on top of the bench, with a timeline of Muir's life identified A plaque on the bench read: "1877 Muir joined Annie and John Bidwell on a guided trek where they cllimbed Mount Shast. This trip helped develop the foundation for a life long friendship between John Muir and the Bidwells."

It was installed in 2007 at Christian Michael's Ristorante, on Wall St at Third., Chico, California, but apparently it has recently fell into neglect and is no longer there, along with most other art benches in Chico.

The Public Art Archive has a page showing it from various angles and giving the location..

The John Muir Luminary Art Bench is one of 16 pieces that line the streets of Downtown Chico. These art benches celebrate people who lived or had some connection with Chico, including in addition to John Muir, artist Jackson Pollock, suffragette Susan B. Anthony, astronomer Carolyn Spellman-Shoemaker, architect Julia Morgan, actor Erroll Flynn, and the mutual friend of the Bidwells and John Muir, botanist Sir Joseph Hooker.

The City of Chico has a brochure identifying all its public art benches with a map giving locations. (off-site link)



For identification of more portraits in art and sculpture (without images), see our listing of John Muir art and sculpture from the National Catalog of American Portraits page.

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