NORTHFIELD, Vt. — A Vermont sculptor who designed the statues of soldiers for the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington has died.
Frank Gaylord was 93. Gaylord died March 21 at his daughter’s home in Northfield, according to the Hooker Whitcomb Funeral Home in Barre, Vermont, which is handling the arrangements.
Gaylord was an Army paratrooper in World War II and was awarded the Bronze Star, according to an obituary in the Times Argus newspaper. After graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia with a degree in fine arts, he and his wife moved to Barre, Vermont, in 1951, where he worked as a sculptor in the city known for its granite quarries and granite art.
Gaylord was picked to be the sculptor for the Korean War Veterans Memorial, which was authorized by Congress in 1987, because of his artistic ability and his familiarity with the uniforms of the era, said retired Col. William Weber, chairman of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Foundation, who is also a Korean War vet.
“There aren’t enough adjectives to describe the superb excellence of what he did,” Weber said of the 19 stainless steel statues. “He was able to convey in the artistry of the sculptures, not only the authenticity of uniforms and equipment but also with the flowing parkas and ponchos the severity of the weather conditions under which that war was fought.”
The memorial was dedicated in 1995.
Gaylord, who created other monuments for sites around the country, told the Burlington Free Press that watching the sculpture arrive on the National Mall was “the highlight of my whole life.”
“Looking back, I can see that it was my finest moment: To see your own work unloaded on the Mall, at the nation’s capital, with a monument that requires a sculptural solution,” he said.
In 2013, he won a settlement of nearly $685,000 in a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service for use of an image of the soldiers on one of its stamps.