May 25, 2004 - Duke and Earl
The statue on the right is, of course, the statue at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. In case you don’t know,
Earl Warren was a California superstar who was born in LA, raised in Bakersfield, went to college and law school in Berkeley, and worked in San Francisco. He entered politics where he served 4 years as California District Attorney and 12 years as Governor. In 1948, he narrowly lost the election for vice president in the famous election where the Chicago Daily Tribune incorrectly printed a “Dewey Defeats Truman!” headline. In 1953, he was appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court where he served until 1969, overseeing key rulings such as Miranda, and Brown vs. the Board of Education.
He was also head of the famed, “Warren Commission” which found that JFK was killed by a single assassin. Of course, Mulder never agreed with that one.
In an amazing juxtaposition of names, Earl Warren’s replacement on the court was Warren Burger. And, don’t confuse these esteemed fellows with Warren Christopher, the former Secretary of State who is often seen around Santa Barbara.
Today, a statue of a man on a horse sits in the parking lot of the Showgrounds, overlooking Math Super Bowls, off-track betting, computer shows, orchid shows, and equestrian events. It's a pretty horse, but as it turns out, the man on the horse is not Earl Warren.
Francis “Duke” Sedgwick created the statue. Duke was a Santa Barbara local who, although born in New York, grew up in a house that is now part of the Natural History Museum property. His was a life of privilege and connections. He went on to graduate from Harvard and Harvard Business School, and worked in Europe as an international banker. Sedgwick gave up his career in banking for a career in art, where he studied with some of the top artists on the East Coast.
Later, he moved back to Santa Barbara, bought some ranches, created statues, wrote novels, and raised a family.
In 1967, Sedgwick and his wife made what was, up until that time, the largest private gift in the history of UCSB, when they deeded 51 percent interest in their 6,000 acre Santa Ynez Valley ranch to the U. C. Board of Regents. About 10 years ago, the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County stepped in to raise the $3.2 million necessary to turn the entire ranch into what is now known as the Sedgwick Reserve.
Other Sedgwick art can be found around town and around the world, including one piece in a private patio of the Old Mission.
An edhat.com subscriber pointed out to us that the face of Earl Warren in the statue looks a lot like the face of Duke Sedgwick. Other Sedgwick creations also share this resemblance. The dedicated staff wasn’t sure whether Earl Warren had a horse, but we know that Sedgwick had one.
Over 50 subscribers correctly identified the statue at the Showgrounds. A random drawing chose Kevin M. as the winner. And even though he entered the contest using all CAPS we award him his choice of movie tickets, coffee card, or cool edhat shirt. We also want to thank subscriber Madrona Drive for the help with the story. Madrona can stop by our office any morning to pick up a free shirt.
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