Paul Dorrell, president of the Leopold Gallery, which represents sculptor E. Spencer Schubert, said that after the bust is installed in the Missouri capitol, collectors will be able to purchase one of the six Limbaugh sculptures cast in the same mold, for approximately $15,000. The sculpture is scheduled to be installed in May, and was paid for by private funds raised by the Missouri Speaker of the House, Steven Tilley.
“Neither Spencer nor I thought it was our position to pass judgement on who went in the capitol building,” said Dorrell. “It's up to the state to put in who they wish ... I'm backing Spencer's choice. If we're going to do it, we may as well do it well.”
Schubert declined to comment, saying only “I take my artistic responsibility very seriously.” He released a statement earlier this week stating his intentions of artistic objectivity and neutrality. “As a sculptor I decided long ago that the criteria for accepting commissions would be whether or not they are artistically interesting ... If it were left to sculptors to choose who was honored with portraits, the entire history of portraiture would look dramatically different,” he said.
Dorrell said he had already heard from critics of the sculpture, who had suggested dozens of ways to destroy or deface it. Once a potential Limbaugh collector coughs up the 15 grand for the sculpture, it becomes that person’s property, to do with as they please. If the sculpture were purchased for the purpose of destruction, that action could potentially become a piece of political performance art in its own right — like burning an effigy.
“I can see people wanting to [destroy] it,” said Dorrell. “After they purchase it, they can do whatever they want with it. They can use it as a boat anchor or target practice or display it in their home.”
Dorrell says the sculpture will be available for purchase through the artist, because he was not involved in landing Schubert the commission. However, Dorrell said that if he were to profit off of the attention the gallery has received for its involvement in the Limbaugh scandal in any way, the funds would go directly to his charitable foundation, which supports inner city children’s art programs.
Though Dorrell is pleased that Tilley selected a Missouri artist for the commission, he says that Limbaugh wouldn’t have been his choice for the hall, which has previously honored President Harry Truman and author Mark Twain.
“History is going to relegate Mr. Limbaugh to whatever position he's earned for himself,” said Dorrell.