Artist Edwina Sandys Returns for a Special “Breakthrough” Presentation

If you attended Westminster College in the late 1980s and early 1990s, you remember not only the fall of the Berlin Wall, but you also can recall when Sir Winston Churchill’s granddaughter brought her Breakthrough sculpture to campus.

The Honorable Edwina Sandys, M.B.E., dedicated the 11-foot-high, 32-foot-long sculpture composed from eight sections of the Berlin Wall on Nov. 9, 1990, exactly one year after the Wall fell. On that unseasonably warm, sunny fall day, former President Ronald Reagan stood by the artist as he helped introduce her sculpture to the Westminster community.

The world figures’ presence that day symbolically marked the end of an era that began with Sir Winston Churchill’s figurative reference to an iron curtain descending “across the continent” in his Sinews of Peace speech on the Westminster College campus in 1946. The Breakthrough dedication took place not long after Reagan received controversial worldwide attention during his presidency for the “Tear Down This Wall” speech he directed at General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev of the Soviet Union on June 12, 1987. The Cold War ended not long after Reagan’s address. Gorbachev spoke about the end of the Cold War era before a similar crowd at Westminster on May 6, 1992. During this time, the Berlin Wall was dismantled in pieces.

Sandys flew to Berlin in early 1990 to select carefully the portions of the Wall that would reflect what her artistic eye wanted to convey. Layered with years of graffiti, the sculpture is composed of Wall sections found near the Brandenburg Gate, where Reagan delivered his world-famous speech. The chosen portions of the Wall repeat the word “Unwahr,” which means “lies” or “untruths” in German. Two cutouts of tall human figures stand side by side along length of the sculpture, symbolizing personal freedom.

Join Sandys once again this weekend during a special presentation on this unique work of art at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4, in front of the Breakthrough sculpture at the National Churchill Museum on the Westminster College campus.

For more information on Sandys’ Breakthrough sculpture, go here. To learn more about the National Churchill Museum, visit their site here.

Photos courtesy of the National Churchill Museum.

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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.