"Young Orville Wright"
Unknown Artist
33 cm ~ Brass Powder Applied to Wet Plaster of Paris

 

Sometimes attributed to the elusive "Master of Dayton, Ohio," this sculpture commemorates the Wright Brothers' earliest interest in manned flight. Thirteen-year-old Orville, having shed all his clothing to save weight, is signalling his brother Wilbur in the tower for permission to take off on their captured bald eagle, whom they had named "Enola Gay." 

Although no record of the success or failure of this experiment is mentioned in the brothers' logbooks or diaries, most art historians agree that, because of the expression on the eagle's face and the attitude of its beak with relation to Orville's exposed anatomy, there could be little doubt of the final outcome. It is likewise interesting to note that Orville never married, and to his dying day avoided contact with birds.

 

 

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