William Shatner and his wife Elizabeth came to Louisville yesterday for the unveiling of a 200 lb bronze sculpture that they are donating to the Frazier Museum. Shatner, who is a collector and connoisseur of Japanese art, commissioned the original work for his LA home and a duplicate was made to be included in the Frazier Museum’s current exhibit “Samurai.” The exhibit features an array of artifacts, spanning over 1,500 years, from this mysterious Japanese noble class and has been amassed from collections all over the world.
Japanese warrior sculpture by Douwe Blumberg
The sculpture will blend beautifully with the museum’s existing dioramas that depict harrowing battle scenes. A thirteenth century Japanese warrior struggles to stay mounted to his horse as he releases an arrow onto his enemies below. This scene is captured in extreme detail and accuracy from the period armor down to the chipped hoof of the battle horse. Elizabeth Shatner pointed out that this kind of detail comes from someone who knows and has experience with real horses.
Horse trainer turned full-time artist Douwe (pronounced “Dow”) Blumberg is the man responsible for the impressive artwork. Blumberg studied art at Idyllwild School of the Arts and Music and apprenticed at a foundry in California. After school, Blumberg turned to horse training for 18 years before his creative calling drew him back to sculpting. He relocated to a ranch outside of Lexington, KY where he works in his studio on large-scale pieces for private and public commissions. The two things that are clear about Blumberg are he knows horses and he knows bronze.
Artist Douwe Blumberg and wife.
The Frazier Museum’s exhibit “Samurai” is on view through September 30, 2012 and is included in regular museum admission. Children 14 and under get in free for the run of the exhibition. Adult admission (15 and older) is $9.50. The Frazier History Museum is located at 829 W. Main Street.
More information on artist Douwe Blumberg can be found on his website douwestudios.com.
William Shatner, Elizabeth Shatner, Douwe Blumberg