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Iowa Public Television Premieres New Documentary Norman Borlaug: Journey to Statuary Hall

Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. and Friday, April 25 at 8:30 p.m.

Johnston, Iowa – Iowa Public Television continues its tradition of telling Iowa’s stories with the premiere of a new documentary, Norman Borlaug: Journey to Statuary Hall. The special follows an artistic and agricultural journey from the cornfields of Iowa to the marble halls of Congress. IPTV documents the creative journey of artist Benjamin Victor as he crafts a larger-than-life icon.

“The story of Norman Borlaug and this statue is intertwined with the mission of our television network to educate and remind all Iowans of our ties to his legacy,” said Andrew Batt, Senior Producer of Norman Borlaug: Journey to Statuary Hall. “Viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at how much work and determination went into this effort right here in Iowa and from coast-to-coast.”

Norman Borlaug: Journey to Statuary Hall will air Tuesday, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. and Friday, April 25 at 8:30 p.m. on statewide Iowa Public Television. The full program will also be available online at

Set to represent one of Iowa’s two statues in the nation’s capitol, a bronze recreation of legendary agrarian Dr. Norman E. Borlaug has painstakingly been developed for years. Filming on the documentary commenced in summer 2013 at Victor’s Aberdeen, South Dakota, studio.

Additional filming took place in January at the Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, California, during the molding, casting, welding, and patina process. A series of chemicals, including liver of sulfur, were applied to the statue along with varying degrees of direct heat giving the Borlaug statue a classic western-style bronze appearance.

IPTV will be on hand when the story culminates in the statue’s March 2014 debut in Washington D.C.’s Statuary Hall, fittingly on the 100-year anniversary of Norman Borlaug’s birth.


- Inside folder labeled “Norman Borlaug Media Release”

- IP Address:
- Username: video
- Password: Upl0ad (case sensitive and the 0 is a zero)

- Promo for Norman Borlaug: Journey to Statuary Hall (:30 sec)

- Our b-roll clips were filmed at the Artworks Foundry in Berkeley, California during the final welding steps, wax molds, and bronze casting of the Borlaug statue before the patina process begins.

- Interview clips with artist Benjamin Victor, filmed in Berkeley, California:

Victor Clip 1: “So the patina really is just oxidization of the metal with different chemicals. So when you’ve got liver, sulfur and ferric nitrate sprayed and heated on this piece, it really oxidizes that metal and makes it look rich and antique and beautiful for that setting. And so that’s the idea with it, you know. If we were doing, you know, maybe a statue of like a bronco buster for the old west museum, then maybe it would be appropriate to put a little bit more touches of color around it, or different tints and tones.”

Victor Clip 2: “It’s kinda humbling to be the artist, but I’m proud that I get to be a part of something that’s so amazing. Like, here is this individual that deserves this kind of recognition, and he’s getting it. And how often does that go unnoticed, when somebody’s a humanitarian like that, and they do great works for others. A lot of times we don’t put that on the pedestal it deserves. And so here he is. He’s going to be on that pedestal metaphorically and in real life, and that’s just great.

This statue will be the first update to Iowa’s two sculptures in the U.S. Capitol since James Harlan was placed there in 1910 and Samuel Kirkwood followed in 1913.

For more information please contact Kristen Gray at 515-725-9703 or


(Contact: Kristen Gray, 515-725-9703)




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