If you follow Pure Sculpture on Facebook and Twitter (it’s the place for all our latest and greatest happenings) then you know it has been a busy couple of months around here. In case you haven’t heard the tremendous news: National Geographic has partnered with Pure Sculpture to raise awareness of National Geographic programs through the artistic medium of sculpture. The first collection of this partnership, created by sculptor Brad Oldham, is in support of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative, a long-term effort to halt the decline of big cats in the wild.  The sculptures in this exclusive Pure Sculpture collection were inspired by iconic images of lions by Beverly and Dereck Joubert, renowned National Geographic photographers, filmmakers and conservationists.

This exciting partnership and sculpture collection launched in June, with the installation of Oldham’s bronze life-size lion at the National Geographic Washington, D.C. campus. Available in life-size, half-life-size, desktop and tabletop editions, each of these sculptures has that signature Pure Sculpture craftsmanship and net proceeds from each of these artworks will help support vital expedition, conservation, research, and education programs.

Make sure to visit the National Geographic + Pure Sculpture website for developments on this collection and partnership.

Together Life Size by Brad Oldham

The Journey of a Life-Size Bronze Lion 

It is no small feat to create and install a large-scale public sculpture. On June 11, 2013, 417 hours of intensive planning and skilled craftsmanship came together seamlessly as Pure Sculpture co-founder and artist Brad Oldham’s life-size bronze lion was installed in the courtyard of the National Geographic Society’s Washington, D.C., campus.

From the onset, Oldham had a strong vision for the installation of the 450-pound lost-wax cast bronze lion created in support of National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative. In the months leading up to the installation, Oldham visited the grounds, taking note of every detail, down to the bed of wood chips under the sculpture’s hand-cut marble base. From lighting to signage, Oldham’s clear direction made for an efficient installation and, ultimately, a fantastic display of three-dimensional art.

The life-size lion made its 1,300 mile journey from Dallas to Washington, D.C. By 6:00 a.m. on June 11, National Geographic’s Engineering and Museum teams met Oldham in the courtyard, ready to install and unveil the majestic bronze sculpture, which stands over 66 inches wide and 36 inches tall. Thanks to Oldham’s preparation and the help of the many skilled hands that touched this project, the sculpture was installed in less than 45 minutes. By the time National Geographic staff entered the campus on that Tuesday morning, they were greeted by a magnificent depiction of an adult male lion and its cub.

The installation of this exquisite work marks the beginning of a partnership between NG Licensing and Pure Sculpture to raise awareness and funds for National Geographic programs through the fine art medium of sculpture. Check back here for updates on this exciting project.