Birds of Happiness

Dee Clements, Birds of Happiness, Bronze, 4/36 (recast 2009 under direction of the artist)
Dee Clements, Birds of Happiness, Bronze, 4/36 (recast 2009 under direction of the artist)
Location: Anderson Academic Commons

Dedicated on Oct. 30, 2009, this sculpture—titled Birds of Happiness—was installed in Penrose Library in memory of Stuart James, a DU English professor from 1957–86.  Jean James, Stuart’s widow, and their daughter, Barbara James, commissioned the sculpture in 1995 from Loveland, Colo., based sculptor Dee Clements; it previously was located outdoors near Sturm Hall. The idea of a crane sculpture came from trips Stuart and Jean had taken to see the birds in New Mexico, Colorado and Nebraska, as well as the fact that cranes mate for life.

The work of Loveland sculptor Dee Clements is often inspired by his own life experiences. His tour of duty as a helicopter pilot in Korea instilled in him a fascination with the “beauty of the Orient.” The red-crown crane appears in Asian art and literature as a symbol for eternal life and longevity. He holds an MA in sculpture from the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, and is a member of the National Sculptors’ Guild. He has completed numerous commissions for public sculpture in the U.S. and abroad.