sealPurdue News

December 1999

Vet school sculpture captures bond with animals

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine is preparing to welcome the new millennium with a new artistic landmark to the West Lafayette campus this fall.

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"Continuum" is an original bronze sculpture depicting the enduring relationship between humans and animals. At nearly 45 feet long and 9 feet tall at its highest point, the sculpture is anticipated to be a dramatic, interactive symbol of the school's mission to teach, research and practice the highest level of animal care. Unveiling is scheduled for Sept. 23 in front of the recently expanded and renovated Lynn Hall on the corner of Harrison and Marsteller streets.

"Continuum" begins with prehistoric cave drawings and progresses to show life-size animals of today and the ways in which the human-animal bond is nurtured by veterinary practice. One side of the interactive sculpture will reflect the inner workings of some of the animals, including the skeleton of a horse, the nervous system of a cat and the circulatory system of a pig.

"This sculpture truly captures the spirit of Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine," said the school's dean, Alan Rebar. "Our faculty, staff, students and alumni have forged a living continuum of teaching and service in just the span of a few decades, and this piece reflects both our history and our future. I think it's a great addition to the West Lafayette campus."

The sculptor, Larry Anderson of Tacoma, Wash., was one of 19 artists invited to submit proposals for the Purdue project. Internationally recognized for his detailed, life-like sculptures, Anderson studied at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna, Austria, and earned a master of fine arts degree from the Cranbrook Academy in 1968. Today Anderson maintains studios in both Tacoma and Chateau d-Milon, France. Three of his pieces were commissioned by the city of Tacoma to commemorate its centennial celebration.

"I recognize the pivotal role veterinarians play in the link between people and animals," Anderson said. "This sculpture suggests that the relationship between us and animals has been going on for a long time, and the bond is very strong as a result."

"Continuum" is not Anderson's first sculpture to reflect a veterinary theme – he also created "The Caring Call" for the Washington State School of Veterinary Medicine – but it is his largest piece to date. The $356,000 Purdue sculpture is being funded entirely by private gifts, the largest of which came from the estate of Evansville, Ind., artist Margery Kahn, who was a client of the veterinary teaching hospital. The Indiana Veterinary Medical Association also contributed funds toward the project. The Kopf Trucking Co. of Goshen, Ind., is donating transportation services to move the completed sculpture from Anderson's Tacoma studio to the West Lafayette campus in early September.

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Because the sculpture has generated interest among alumni and the veterinary profession, Anderson is making a limited-edition miniature available for sale to the public. The miniatures will be cast in solid bronze and mounted on a wooden base that measures 30 inches long by 6 inches wide. The sculpture stands 7 1/2 inches high and includes the same anatomical diagrams as the original life-size piece.

The cost is $2,500 each, $1,000 of which is tax deductible. All proceeds from the sales of the miniatures will benefit the "Continuum Fund," which supports the areas of greatest need in the School of Veterinary Medicine. Only 200 miniatures will be cast, and they will be available for sale through Dec. 31, 2001.

To order, contact Kevin Doerr, director of alumni relations and annual giving for the veterinary school, at (765) 494-6304, or e-mail him at

Sources: Alan Rebar, (765) 494-7608,

Larry Anderson, (253) 863-2344,

Writer: Sharon Bowker, (765) 494-9723,


Sculptor Larry Anderson works with live model Corie Roberts at his studio in Tacoma, Wash., during the creation of "Continuum." (Photo provided by the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID: Doerr.sculpture1

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This is the clay model for the miniature version of Larry Anderson's sculpture "Continuum." It will be used to create the mold from which the bronze miniatures will be cast. The castings are based on a 45-foot-long, life-sized sculpture that will be erected at Purdue's Vet School. (Purdue News Service Photo by Vince Walter)

A publication-quality photograph is available at the News Service Web site and at the ftp site. Photo ID: Doerr.sculpture2

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