Support A Monumental Journey
The public art project titled A Monumental Journey will commemorate a piece of Iowa history unknown to most Iowans. It was here—Des Moines, Iowa, in 1925 — that pioneering African-American attorneys founded the National Bar Association after being denied membership in the American Bar Association. This important Iowa event had a permanent and profound impact upon our entire nation.
The artist Kerry James Marshall was inspired by the talking drums of West Africa. There, African drummers communicated complex messages over vast distances by simply varying the pitch of the drum and using tone to mimic patterns of speech.
With the concept of one drum-form precariously stacked upon the other, the artist has created a powerful physical and poetic expression. The large-scale sculpture embodies the notion of communication among diverse peoples and a legal system that — though not perfect — strives to be balanced.
A Monumental Journey will stand 30-feet high and be constructed of black manganese brick. The project is commissioned by the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation.
Computer generated view of A Monumental Journey. Site rendering courtesy of substance architecture.
To preserve the legacy of African-American lawyers who, in 1925, founded and incorporated the National Bar Association, fully dedicated to civil rights, justice and equality in the legal system.
Visit the A Monumental Journey page to learn more.
To raise $1 million to create an inspiring world-class public art project that memorializes the founders of the National Bar Association.
Kerry James Marshall
A MacArthur Foundation “genius grantee,” the artist has reached international fame for paintings, sculpture, collage, video and photography that comment on the history of black identity both in the United States and in Western art. He explores issues of race through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics.
Visit his artist page to learn more.
Media Kit Available
The following PDFs are available for download, printing and distribution.