If you’re like us, when you see an interesting piece of artwork, statue or sculpture, you study the design carefully and search around for the description. This is often the case when people witness the Winged Figures of the Republic in person. Read further to learn more about them and what secrets these Hoover Dam statutes hold.
What are the Winged Figures of the Republic?
An excellent example of the Art Deco era, the “Winged Figures of the Republic” was created in the 1930s by Norwegian immigrant, Oskar J.W. Hansen, who entered a design contest and won. The statues are often considered one of the major attractions at Hoover Dam besides the dam itself. Sitting at 30 feet high–and with a 142-foot flagpole between them–these winged figures cannot help but beckon your attention. They contain more than four tons of statuary bronze and sit on a base of black diorite.
Are there any hidden meanings behind them?
Hansen firmly believed that the Hoover Dam represented one of the greatest man-made structures of all time. So much so, he stated that the dam can be compared to works such as the great pyramids of Egypt.
Because Hoover Dam was such a powerful innovation—the statues surrounding it had to match its magnitude. Oskar J.W. Hansen knew how to do that. After onlookers began questioning Hansen’s work, the sculptor explained that the Winged Figures of the Republic had a deeper meaning. It had to do with the blood, sweat and tears of the men who worked on the dam and what it meant for our nation’s future.
Hansen said, “In each of these monuments can be read the characteristics of these men, and on a larger scale, the community of which they are part. Thus, mankind itself is the subject of the sculptures at Hoover Dam.”
A thoughtful way to express his creativity and pay homage to the brave men who worked tirelessly on the dam, Hansen went into go into great detail about his creation. It was his hope that it represents the strength and accomplishment of the Hoover Dam. The Winged Figures of the Republic honor the aspirations and growth of a nation as it brings life to a dry desert.
Immerse yourself in America’s history by visiting these statues at the Hoover Dam. To get more out of your trip, book our Black Canyon Raft Tour to see the Hoover Dam from below and cruise down the iconic Colorado River. Give us a call at 800-455-3490 or visit us online to make your reservation today.