PRO PATRIA MORI
selected as one of the top public art projects of 2006, Public Art Network conference in the The Year in Review
Mosaic Fabrication: Fran
Metal Fabrication: A. Zahner Company.
click image for a detail view
These gates form an entrance to the Liberty Memorial and Museum in Kansas City Missouri, which houses the only collection of World War 1 artifacts in this country. When the gates are opened, they create an 84’ long panorama, when closed there are two separate panoramas, visible from both the approach to the site, and when leaving. The archives of the museum provide the main source for the glass mosaic imagery, along with images of my two grandfathers who fought in World War 1, and trench maps from their scrapbooks. Below the intricate mosaic frieze is a laser cut panel into which hundreds of hole have been cut to reveal an image taken from an archival photograph of soldiers walking in file across a hill. The title is from a famous poem by Wilfred Owen about the horrors of a poison gas attack.
The gates are visible from a great distance and reward both a one time visitor and those who visit the site many times. They complement the formal beauty of the site and the deep complexity of the historical experience it commemorates.