William Thaddeus Coleman, Jr.

Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis, FNSS is proud to announce the unveiling of his latest monument, a bas-relief of Philadelphia native William Thaddeus Coleman Jr. (1920-2017) the famed civil rights attorney and statesman who served as co-counsel with Thurgood Marshall in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case that celebrated its 70th anniversary last month, on May 17. The relief, on permanent display at the National Constitution Center, is the first memorial in Philadelphia to commemorate Mr. Coleman’s tremendous contributions to civil rights legislation that helped change the course of the country and history. Funded by the William T. Coleman Jr. Foundation, Inc., the memorial was unveiled in a dedication ceremony on June 13, 2024.

Frudakis’ bas-relief depicts Mr. Coleman in 1954, as a young attorney against the backdrop of the U.S. Supreme Court where in 1948 he was appointed law clerk to Justice Felix Frankfurter, becoming the first African American to serve as a Supreme Court clerk. During his distinguished career, he argued a total of 19 cases before the High Court. “It was an honor and a privilege to have been given the opportunity to create a bronze relief of William T. Coleman, Jr. He worked with Thurgood Marshall to effect constitutional change to better the lives of many with the Brown v Board of Education landmark case,” said Frudakis. “My hope is that my sculpture will not only be an enduring remembrance and recognition of his life’s work, but also for others to be inspired to do the same.”

Mr. Coleman’s memorial is the latest of Frudakis’ more than 125 monumental bronze public works of art that include his conceptual work Freedom, which has become an Internet icon; the U.S. Air Force Memorial Honor Guard, a copy of which resides at the British Imperial War Museum in Duxford, England; as well as commissioned public monuments, portrait statues, and portrait busts of prominent cultural and historical figures throughout the U.S. and abroad. An alumnus of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Frudakis earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. Recently, his work was installed at the new Elmwood Park Zoo’s new welcome enter and veterinarian hospital (Norristown, PA). He is working on a 10-foot high Muhammad Ali monument for Lewiston, ME.