New Churchill exhibition


09 February 2021
Artist Jethro Crabb with clay sculpture Artist Jethro Crabb with clay sculpture
Artist recreates amazingly lifelike Churchill bust for new exhibition.

Sculptor Jethro Crabb has created an extraordinarily lifelike bust of Winston Churchill as part of a major new exhibition on the greatest Briton, which is set to open at his birthplace Blenheim Palace later this year.

Initially made from clay, the completed bust will then be covered in silicon to form a mould, which will be filled with wax to create the finished waxwork head. Individual hairs will then be inserted, and the face carefully coloured to match before the life-size figure is assembled.

Prior to working on private commissions, Jethro spent eight years at Madame Tussauds, sculpting many famous faces and travelling the world to meet and measure celebrities.

Jethro commented, “What interests me about the people I sculpt is that everyone is completely individual and capturing what it is about someone that makes them look that way can be a very meditative experience, almost getting lost in the forms and the shapes you’re sculpting.”

In order to make the completed figure as authentic looking as possible, designers are working with Churchill’s original tailor, hat and shoemakers to create bespoke clothing to the great man’s own measurements. Once finished, the figure will take pride of place in a new exhibition dedicated to Churchill’s life at his beloved birthplace, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

Utilising a mix of historic artefacts and new technology, much of the exhibition will be located in an area of the Palace used as an artist’s studio by the wartime leader.
Churchill returned to Blenheim often throughout his long life; attending parties, painting and spending time with his cousin and close friend ‘Sunny’, 9th Duke of Marlborough. As well as being his birthplace, it’s where he decided to propose to his beloved wife Clementine. Blenheim Palace was also one of his favourite places to relax, and its rich military history provided huge inspiration for Churchill’s own career.

The new attraction is being designed and built by ME&C Creative, whose clients include the Mary Rose Museum, London Zoo and Legoland.

It is one of a series of exciting new features set to open at the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site later this year as part of a £1.9m investment programme. In addition to the Churchill exhibition, Blenheim is creating an immersive and interactive experience, in the Palace’s historic stable block to showcase the importance of horses at Blenheim down through the centuries.

An art-themed restaurant and café is being constructed as part of the new attractions, which will feature a touch-less ordering app.

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