and GARY WALKER
Prominent sculptor Robert Graham, who created the bronze doors of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, passed away from an undisclosed illness on Saturday, December 27th. He was 70 years old.
Graham had been married to actress Anjelica Huston since 1992.
“Maria [Shriver] and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Robert Graham,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a statement. “Robert was an amazing sculptor who forever shaped the presence of sculpture art throughout California and the world.
“His work was truly influential and he will forever remain an icon in this state. Our thoughts and prayers are with Robert’s wife Anjelica and his entirely family during this difficult time.”
Graham, who owned a personal studio in Venice, was born in Mexico City in 1938.
He came to the U.S. and studied at San Jose State College, now called San Jose State University, from 1961 to 1963, and the San Francisco Art Institute from 1963 to 1964.
He went on to design major civic monuments across the nation.
In 1978, he created the dance door — a bronze sculpture — for Frederick and Marcia Weisman, which they later donated, in 1982, to the Los Angeles County Music Center.
Graham also designed the Olympic Gateway at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in 1984, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 1997.
He also did the torso sculpture on Windward Circle at the Venice Post Office that caused some controversy.
Suzanne Thompson, a Venice- based documentary filmmaker, remembered an act of generosity by Graham several years ago.
“During the civil unrest in 1992, Robert spoke with Father Gregory Boyle, an East Los Angeles Jesuit priest who worked with ex-gang members, and brought a number of youths to work with him in his studio in Venice,” Thompson recalled. “I thought that was a wonderful statement for him to share his talents with others and it showed his concern for injustice in the inner city.”
On December 15th, prior to his passing, Graham was inducted into The California Museum’s California Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife Anjelica Huston and his son Steven.