A model of the Yale statue depicts mascot Handsome Dan
chilling on a bench.//Courtesy All Classics Ltd.
First, we had the inimitable Charles Parks and his dozens of public and private sculptures. More recently, there was Kristen Visbal’s “Fearless Girl” shaking things up on Wall Street. Now, may we present a burly bronze bulldog on a bench.
The latest in a long line of statues fashioned in the First State is being cast by All Classics Ltd. of Newark for Yale University. All Classics, a foundry known for its one-of-a-kind bronze sculptures, hopes to deliver the final product by the dog days of summer.
The statue of Yale’s longtime mascot, Handsome Dan—sporting a vintage varsity letter sweater and squatting on a bench—will provide a fun photo opp for students and future alumni on campus.
“We work with a lot of different schools,” says Jason Spohn, vice president and a designer at All Classics. “I’ve been trying to reach out to UD to put a big fightin’ blue hen out there.”
All Classics began in 1991, taking advantage of the cigar store Indian craze. It moved on to bronze work and now primarily handles custom jobs. Last August, it began a U.S. government project: a 9-foot, stainless-steel helix of a soldier and a scientist on a 6,000-pound piece of granite for Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Chemical Warfare Division.
Previous projects have included life-size bronzes of a waving Ronald Reagan—some of which can be found in local Ropewalk Restaurants.
Locally, folks can enjoy All Classics’ works at the Delaware Museum of Natural History, where a bronze turtle greets visitors and a toothy bronze T-rex skull commands attention. The jaguar statue at Appoquinimink High School in Middletown has become—as many of All Classics’ school projects do—a touchstone, where students touch it for good luck before sporting events.
Spohn hopes to continue to handle many projects in the First State. He especially seeks public art opportunities locally and around the country.
“There’s not a lot of public art on the East Coast compared to other areas around the world,” he says.