Dimensions: 43 x 16 x 24 in. (109.2 x 40.6 x 61 cm)
Credit Line: Commissioned by University Museums. Iowa Art in State Buildings Project for the Roy J. Carver Co-Lab. In the Christian Petersen Art Collection, Art on Campus Collection, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Iowa State University, Roy J. Carver Co-Lab
Inspired by a young man from Nevada, Iowa, who placed second in the national cornhusking championships in Davenport, Iowa, in 1940, "The Cornhusker" was Christian Petersen's tribute to a uniquely Midwestern type of athlete in the premechanized farm era. A time- honored tradition in agricultural states, cornhusking competitions were held at the county, district, state and national levels. Petersen was fascinated with this particular competitor, Marion Link, who handpicked and husked forty-six bushels of Iowa field corn in eighty minutes.
"The Cornhusker" and "4-H Calf" were commissioned by the Hotel Sheldon Munn in Ames, Iowa, and remains the artist’s most obviously regionalistic studio works. "The Cornhusker" is more typical of Petersen's human forms, emphasis is placed on the hands and the importance of the work they do. They appear to move heavily but rhythmically with the figure’s feet, giving the sculpture a feeling of methodical, efficient movement.