On September 7, 2011, we explored a bit of downtown Grand Junction Colorado, including the outdoor “Art on the Corner” sculptures. One of the sculptures is of a 62-year-old naked man – James Dalton Trumbo – sitting in an old fashioned claw-foot bathtub, with pen and cigarette in hand, coffee at the ready and a bathtub adapted portable writing desk stretching across the width of the tub. Dalton was a screen writer and novelist.
Art on the Corner (Downtown Grand Junction)
Art on the Corner (AOTC) is a year-round outdoor sculpture exhibit displayed in Downtown Grand Junction and is one of the first of its kind in the country. The display is free to the public and includes more than 100 sculptures in a variety of mediums and styles. Established in 1984 by local sculptor, Dave Davis, Art on the Corner has become a cultural icon in Downtown Grand Junction. The program has been recognized and mimicked in communities across the world and is currently celebrating its thirty-first year. Three-quarters of the collection consists of permanent sculpture and the remainder is part of the annual temporary show. Temporary pieces are for sale to the public
Dalton Trumbo (Wikipedia)
James Dalton Trumbo (December 9, 1905 – September 10, 1976) was an American screenwriter and novelist. As one of the Hollywood Ten, he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947 during the committee’s investigation of Communist influences in the motion picture industry. Trumbo won two Academy Awards while blacklisted; one was originally given to a front writer, and one was awarded to “Robert Rich”, Trumbo’s pseudonym.
Blacklisting effectively ended in 1960 when it lost credibility. Trumbo was publicly given credit for two blockbuster films: Otto Preminger made public that Trumbo wrote the screenplay for the smash hit, Exodus, and Kirk Douglas publicly announced that Trumbo was the screenwriter of Spartacus. Further, President John F. Kennedy crossed American Legion picket lines to see the film.
On December 19, 2011, the Writers Guild of America announced that Trumbo was given full credit for his work on the screenplay of the 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday, sixty years after the fact.
The Man in the Bathtub in Downtown Grand Junction (Undercover Colorado)
But the most unique tribute to Colorado’s screenwriting native son appeared on the streets of Grand Junction on October 13, 2007. It is a bronze antique bathtub with a naked 62-year old man lounging with coffee at the ready and cigarette in hand while working on a script. The eccentric Trumbo was known to do his best work writing in the bathtub. He also consumed six packs of unfiltered cigarettes a day, which ultimately killed him.