roy butler sculpture

Monument Descriptions

Mr. Butler is acclaimed for creating very hi-realism, technically detailed figurative sculptures. He has also been commissioned to create three national monuments utilizing these techniques, which have been documented and archived by The Smithsonian.

A brief description of each is listed below and complete PDF documentation can be read by following the PORTFOLIO—MONUMENTS--PDF links on this website.

Sampson W. Keeble Narrative and Sculpture Description

Sampson W. Keeble was the first African American legislator elected in Tennessee.  Born a slave in Rutherford County in 1833, he worked as a “roller boy” for two local newspapers and later fought in the Civil War.  After the war ended, he moved to Nashville, established the Rock City Barbershop and gained a reputation for hard work and integrity.  He also studied law and served on the boards of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company and the Colored Agricultural and Mechanical Association. 

In November 1872 Keeble was elected to the 38th Tennessee General Assembly.  In this first major election after the passage of the 15th Amendment, African American men were permitted to vote for the first time. 

After a single term in the legislature, Keeble was elected a magistrate in the Davidson County Court, serving from 1877 to 1882.  Thirteen other African Americans would be elected to the General Assembly before the end of the 19th century.  The appearance of Jim Crow laws, crafted to disenfranchise the black population, guaranteed that no blacks would win legislative seats from 1890 to 1965, when the passage of the Voting Rights Act ended such racial restrictions on suffrage as poll taxes, literacy tests, and other forms of intimidation.

With the passage of a 2008 bill sponsored by the Tennessee Black Caucus, the state appropriated funds for a sculpture commemorating Sampson Keeble.  Roy W Butler was selected by the Tennessee Arts Commission to create the Keeble bust.  The bronze bust will be permanently displayed in a gallery of the State Capitol in Nashville and public viewable.

When installed, the 1.5 x larger than life bronze bust will sit on an inscribed stone base and measure approximately 5’ in height.  The highly detailed and textured bronze bust features authentic period hair and clothing styles, complete with replication of 19th century buttons.

More information can be obtained on 19th Century African American Tennessee Legislator history by linking to the Tennessee State Library and Archives Website listed below:

CLICK HERE to learn about actress Vanessa Williams connection
to the Sampson W. Keeble Monument

Afternoon Breeze

Afternoon Breeze is a historical sculpture, representing the first life-size public art sculpture in existence nationally to recognize females involved in Hoover Dam construction and support networks.

She was commissioned by the City of Boulder City, Nevada, recognized as the gateway to Hoover Dam, and stands proudly on her permanent location at the historic intersection of Nevada Way and Arizona Street.

The pioneering woman depicted in the life-size bronze sculpture has been created in hi-realism detail with an Art Deco flair. She is dressed in authentic circa 1930-35 clothing and accessories that would have been available to Boulder City residents during Hoover Dam construction, and reflects a desire to fulfill their destiny that laid the foundation for the Boulder City of today.

The monument was completed and dedicated in 2008.

USCT National Monument

This nationally celebrated monument is the first figurative sculpture representing the USCT ever to be placed in a National Cemetery.

Honoring the United States Colored Troops, this 9’ high figurative bronze and granite monument stands guard over the hallowed graves of 2,133 Civil War soldiers at the Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee.

The monument was dedicated and accepted, February 18, 2006, in Nashville, Tennessee by the Honorable William Tuerk, Under-Secretary of the National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, D.C.

American Legion Memorial

The Claude Sims Post #68 monument is located at the crossroads to Broadway of America and the Louisiana Purchase Historic Park in Brinkley, Arkansas. Brinkley is listed on the National Historic Registry and located halfway between Little Rock and Memphis.

The 9’ high by 13’ long monument represents two WW II, life-size bronze servicemen standing at attention with a central monolith accommodating two bronze tablets containing over 600 names of honored local veterans.

The national monument was completed and dedicated in 2006.



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