Find Famous Art along the Rock River Art Trail

recording angel lorado taft waupun rock river traliOne of Wisconsin’s most hauntingly beautiful sculptures can be found in Waupun, Wisconsin at the Forest Mound Cemetery. Clarence Shaler commissioned Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft to create this memorial to his wife in 1921. “Recording Angel,” showing a seated angel with eyes closed contemplating the opened Book of Life before it, was the result. The nine-foot bronze rests against a 16-ton piece of granite at Blanche Shaler’s grave.

This is the only Taft sculpture in Wisconsin. Another famous Taft sculpture is “The Eternal Indian“, sometimes called the Black Hawk Statue, soaring 48-foot high overlooking the Rock River near the city of Oregon, Illinois.)

The other famous work Shaler commissioned is “End Of The Trail” by James Earle Fraser as a tribute to the Native Americans. Fraser first modeled the subject in 1894. His memoirs state, “as a boy, I remembered an old Dakota trapper saying, ‘The Indians will someday be pushed into the Pacific Ocean.'” Later he stated “the idea occurred to me of making an Indian which represented his race reaching the end of the trail, at the edge of the Pacific.” This statue is in Shaler Park, and both of these statues are near each other and are the few in Wisconsin to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Clarence Shaler was a Waupun native and sucessful entrepreneur who invented among other things, the first-ever umbrella with a replaceable cover and a speedy way to repair tires, called a “vulcanizer.” He retired in 1930, at the age of 70 and took up sculpture. Six of his own sculptures can be found in Waupun. Learn more at

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The Rock River Art Trail:
Rock River History Trail:
Rock River Scenic and Historic Route: