The Doves of Spring sculpture in the Memorial Garden was created specifically for Kenilworth Union by sculptor; Robert (Bob) Winship. Bob was a wildlife enthusiast and a nationally acclaimed artist with public installations throughout the country. In 1990 this work of art was dedicated in memory of Einar A. Berg, grandfather of the Winship family. Upon Bob’s death on June 21, 2019, we remember his gift of artistry, and treasure the Doves of Spring that will forever grace our Memorial Garden.
Robert Winship “Doves of Spring” Story
Bob was introduced to Kenilworth Union Church through his son Roger (Julie), whose family and the Rahr family in-laws have been longtime members of our church. The Doves of Spring originated from a discussion one morning after church with Gil Bowen and Mrs. Dietrich, a senior member at the time. She was sharing how much she loved her Bob Winship sculpture of a life-sized Skimmer which adorned her patio and Gil mentioned the church was seeking a sculpture for the Memorial Garden. One thing led to the next and as fate would have it the Doves of Spring found their new home in the garden at Kenilworth Union Church.
Bob had an immense respect and love for nature and built his final home and studios nestled between two ponds in North Oaks, Minnesota. He retired from Paine Webber & Company and a career in finance to pursue his lifelong ambition of being a wildlife artist.
Originally a woodcarver, he transitioned his artistic skill into bronze sculpture, adopting the 6,000 year old “lost wax” casting process from the Indus Valley of south Asia. This enabled him to capture the world of wildlife of which he was so enthralled, with the desired intricacy needed to achieve what he believed was perfection. He was self-educated in this respect and a student of the fine art of patination, distinguishing him from other metal sculptors. His favorite subjects were birds: doves, owls, ducks, geese, swans, quail, pheasant, eagles, hawks, songbirds, and butterflies. Wintering in Sanibel Island where he duplicated his art studio, Bob captured the beauty of the egret, heron, bittern, skimmer, and other tropical birds. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who are also subjects of his artistic creation, in addition to Native Americans, buffalo, horses, and many different dog breeds.
His work has been commissioned by major corporations, featured at prestigious art shows throughout the nation, presented to heads of state, found in art collections in Canada, Italy, Australia, Germany, Britain, Mexico, and many memorials, and has received numerous awards. This man was all consumed by the joy of what he was meant to do in life and worked like a Trojan from pre-dawn until early evening every day of his artistic life of over 50 years. Bob had an unusually keen perception of the world and a true appreciation for all forms of life. He was a man of faith, fascinated by the heavenly starlit nights, deeply touched by all of God’s earthly creation, and an inspiration to his family and all those who knew him. He was blessed with the gift of seeing the world in all its glory and an artistic talent for capturing and preserving it in a lasting art form. This is his legacy which will endure through time forever, God rest his soul.
Please feel free to visit the Robert Winship obituary at www.bradshawfuneral.com