For the past ten years, we in this area have heard stories and seen photos of a collection of huge concrete presidential busts sitting in a field near Williamsburg. Unfortunately, this Virginia oddity is usually not open to the public, locked away on private land.
However, a few times a year a local photographer guides small groups through the gates, and last weekend, I finally had an opportunity to explore the heads for myself.
This post is a small sample of the pictures I made, with more in the full gallery. My friend and photo partner Kathy also has a gallery of what she saw in and among the heads.
If you’re interested in the history of this exhibit, Atlas Obscura has you covered with both text and audio.1
The photo at the top offers some idea of the size of the heads and how many of these things are squeezed together in a relatively small area.
A close up of George Washington shows both the deterioration of the concrete used to build the heads and the sculptor’s attention to details in the eyes.
The raised spots in Bill Clinton’s tie illustrates more of the attention to detail that went into creating these massive sculptures.
Something I tell participants in my photo classes, always look for reflective surfaces to get a different view of your surroundings.
Many of the busts were damaged in moving them to the current location. It’s unfortunate that Lincoln’s bust is set apart from most of the others making the damage very conspicuous.
1. I highly recommend the Atlas Obscura podcast if you’re interested in travel and hearing about the many weird, wonderful places in the world.
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