Under the motto "levi's come back – the return of levi strauss the ceremony for the unveiling of the life-size levi strauss bronze figure, which was donated by the forderverein levi strauss geburtshaus e.V. Under the leadership of the board of directors christoph gatz and erich werner the market buttenheim donated. The handover took place on the occasion of the museum's 20th anniversary. Since the planned celebrations had to be cancelled due to the current pandemic situation, the forderverein wants to set a sign here to remain active, to gather forces, to develop ideas and to point out new ways, according to the museum's press release.
The figure honors a man who made a unique journey from a youngster in buttenheim in upper franconia to a successful man in america, who became an important member of american society, who, out of his faith and his social attitude, generously endowed many people and institutions with foundations, gifts and scholarships, and who, despite his successes, kept both feet on the ground.
Room for interpretation
The statue was created by the artist rainer kurka (berlin), who puts the human figure in the center of his artistic work. His work has been honored in exhibitions at home and abroad, as well as through recognitions and awards. Rainer kurka believes it is important for each viewer to form his or her own opinion of the work. He wanted the figure to show a strong presence on the one hand, but on the other hand to leave room for personal interpretations. The artist dealt intensively with the life story of levi strauss and the existing, very limited pictorial material beforehand. Its goal was to create a figure that looks like it was modeled by levi strauss herself. To this end, he also used the available sources to gain insights into the character of the jeans inventor, who seems to have remained a modest and down-to-earth person despite his successes. That's why in buttenheim, too, it's not on a pedestal, but on the ground.
When looking at old photos, strauss seems to have become a person who has worked his way up from difficult times, now looks calmly at life and has retained a friendly, warm-hearted nature. For rainer kurka, levi's qualities of facing life's challenges, of being helpful to those less fortunate, and of treating people with openness, friendliness and humility make him a role model for our times. As a treat for attentive viewers, the figure holds a small copper rivet in the hand crooked in the back.
With the donation of the bronze figure, the forderverein levi strauss geburtshaus e.V. To give a new accent to the public image of the museum and to link the institution of the museum even more closely to the person of levi strauss. In addition, there is now a different view of the ensemble and an interesting photo point for guests and locals alike.