Nile Kinnick

Monumental Bronze

Larry Nowlan's work for the University of Iowa Kinnick Stadium comprised of two massive works. His first commission, a sixteen-foot-high monumental bronze sculpture of Nile Kinnick, also serving as a good luck charm by thousands of fans who rub it for luck before entering the stadium on game day. The 1939 Heisman Trophy winner is depicted, not dressed in pads or a jersey, but street wear and his letterman's jacket, characteristic of the time, casually holding textbooks. This attire was a deliberate choice, as the purpose of the work is meant to immortalize the student-athlete Nile Kinnick, not merely the football player. The later representation would only be a portion of his legacy at Iowa. Kinnick graduated with what is now considered cum laude with a degree in economics, was elected student body president his senior year, and played both basketball and baseball for Iowa.

Larry Nowlan, a Vermont sculptor, was an artist of the new school of realism. He was inspired by both the past and the natural world, yet did not copy directly from nature. Many of his works directly reflect the humanity, emotions, troubles and triumphs of an individual. He was first attracted to sculpture by the powerful forms of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and preceded to enroll at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1993 followed by a MA at the New York Academy of Art Graduate School of Figurative Art.