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May-June 2014

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The Old Prospector Statue in Denver, Colorado, and its Sculptor, Alphonse Pelzer

Colorado is world-renowned for its gold mining history, so it was appropriate that a statue of a prospector be created to both represent and commemorate that most important aspect of the state. The sculptor chosen for the job of making the statue was Alphonse Pelzer from Germany. In the late 1800s, he worked as the staff sculptor for the W. H. Mullins Company of Salem, Ohio, which made architectural metalwork and huge statuary and weathervanes as adornments and decorations for public buildings. In 1891, Pelzer was commissioned to create a statue of a prospector that would enhance the top of the new seven-story Mining Exchange Building in downtown Denver.

Susan Robinson is a freelance artist specializing in painting mineral and gem specimens as well as birds and wildlife.

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