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Leaders and role models, 1940s-1950s

Submitted by Joyce Graber McAnelly from Madison, Wisconsin
  • B.S., Applied Art, 1951

Christian Petersen -- A kind and gifted sculptor, teacher

One of my happiest memories of my days at Iowa State (1947-1951) is that of my sculpture class with Christian Petersen. Classes were held in the Vet Quadrangle. In order to get to sculpture classes, one had to pass a huge horse cadaver that was mounted on a wood pedestal. That was a real shock the first time I looked for my class. Working with Mr. Petersen in the large dusty lab full of works in progress was a great experience. He was a quiet, soft-spoken man — very patient and a great help to his students, no matter what they were trying to do.

In 2003, when my husband and I returned to Iowa State for John's 50th reunion, I was delighted to find the huge sculptures of the boy and girl students near the girls' dorms. I had seen these as unfinished works, back in our large dusty lab.

I treasure my own two sculptures that I made in that class. Each time I see them, I think of a kind and caring teacher who was a wonderful person and tremendous artist!