Professor Wiesel is a Holocaust survivor, human rights activist, teacher, author, and founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He is president of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, an organization he and his wife, Marion, created to fight intolerance and injustice. He is the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal among many others for his literary and human rights activities, as well as a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
“Creating a portrait bust of Elie Wiesel has been a dream project,” said Mr. Mellon, who lives in Redding. “I came to it with the greatest respect for his core messages to mankind. Ever watchful of our world, he has raised our awareness of violence and genocide across the globe, teaching that indifference to organized hate is not an acceptable moral choice. As he has often said, the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
“I wanted this portrait to reflect the complexity of the man, and hope that over time, this bronze will in a small way lead more people to Professor Wiesel’s spoken and written legacy.”
Mr. Mellon’s first bronze bust of Elie Wiesel was cast in the spring of 2012. The portrait bust was developed from life sittings at the National Arts Club in Manhattan. Both Professor Wiesel and his wife attended these “sittings.”
There will, eventually, be bronze casts prominently displayed at several sites both here and abroad, said Mr. Mellon.
Marc Mellon is one of America’s foremost representational sculptors, well known for his portrait busts, reliefs, commemorative statues, and other works in bronze exploring the worlds of dance, sport, and family life. He has a particular interest in creating portraits of individuals who intersect with history in a compelling way.
He has multiple works in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, including medallic reliefs in the National Museum of American History of Barack Obama, for the Official 2009 Presidential Inaugural Medal, and of Theodore Roosevelt, produced for the Theodore Roosevelt Association.
Mr. Mellon’s bust of President George H. W. Bush is in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. His bust of Pope John Paul II was unveiled in St. Peter’s Square and resides in the papal apartments. It was presented by a multi-faith mission to recognize the pope for his efforts in promoting mutual respect, tolerance and understanding among the world’s religions.
Mr. Mellon’s works also intersect with popular culture, including his bust, from life sittings, of Tony Bennett, and series of limited-edition bronze figures in motion celebrating the worlds of dance, sport, and family life.
Schooled to pursue the sciences, Mr. Mellon left pre-medical studies for the study of history and philosophy before discovering art as a vehicle to embrace all of his interests.
His works have been displayed from New York to Los Angeles to Tokyo, and are in numerous corporate, private, and public collections worldwide. More than 25 universities and medical centers have Mellon bronzes in their collections.