via United States Senate
From the United States Senate:
“Vice President Dick Cheney’s portrait bust was unveiled today:
Richard B. Cheney selected William Behrends to sculpt his portrait in marble for the Senate’s Vice Presidential Bust Collection in September 2011. Behrends met with Vice President Cheney one month later to take measurements and photographs in preparation for the clay model. Mrs. Cheney, the daughters, and the grandchildren took an interest in the artistic process and enlivened the numerous sittings at the Cheney home. The artist also relied on images of the vice president when he served from 2001 to 2009 under President George W. Bush.
Following approval by the vice president of the full-sized clay model, Behrends cast a plaster bust which served to guide the carving of the marble. Unlike Behrends’ typical process of roughing out marble sculptures in Italy and finishing them in the United States, the Cheney bust was carved completely in Behrends’ North Carolina studio. Behrends initially carved the marble with diamond-tipped saws, as well as pneumatic and hand chisels. The finer details were then rendered using a set of vintage hand-made chisels given to the sculptor by a master carver in Italy. The finished work was accepted by the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration in 2015.
A nationally celebrated sculptor, William Behrends is represented in public, private, and corporate collections throughout the country. Born in 1946, the North Carolina artist studied painting and architecture at North Carolina State University, followed by a year of independent study in Europe. He completed his academic studies in fine art and sculpture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Behrends furthered his training in Pietrasanta, south of Carrara, Italy, where carvers of fine sculpture still follow traditional methods. The vice presidential bust of Cheney is Behrends’ second Senate commission. In 1995 the sculptor completed a portrait bust of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. Behrends executed the two Senate commissions, completed twenty years apart, from the same quarry block of Italian white statuary marble.
The marble bust of Vice President Dick Cheney was unveiled on December 3, 2015 in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, and placed on permanent display in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol.