The Oregon Pioneer, also known as the "Gold Man" is a 22 foot tall bronze scultpture, coated in gold, placed on top of the rotunda of the Oregon Capitol building, depicting a pioneer. The statue is roughly modelled after Michelangelo's David, with the general posture of the statue matching David. The Pioneer, however, carries an axe and seems to have a bag or blanket in his other hand, tossed over his shoulder.

Since being placed atop the capitol in the 1930s, the pioneer has seen his share of problems, such as the need to be regilded, and being shifted during the 1993 "Spring Break Quake" that hit Oregon.

When I view pictures or videos of the statue, I can see that it was made in quite some detail: detail that is lost to most viewers, since it looks merely like a bright golden image from ground level, with no details of the face visible, at least to my eyes. I also find the sculpture to project an image that is somewhat at variance with the current culture of Oregon, for two reasons: the ostentatious nature of a glaringly gold statue is in opposition to the often earthy and humble demeanor that Oregonians like to project, and the glorification of "the pioneer" in an era when the legacy of European settlement is being reexamined. But despite that, the Oregon Pioneer will probably remain shining over the city of Salem for decades to come, if not more.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.