Creating public-art sculptures of great individuals, significant events and high ideals, to inspire people to lead a positive life. For each of our many major public monuments we have conducted extensive research, and then infused our figures and portraits with their subject’s unique psychological depth and individual character, activity and significance, all with high aesthetics. Our sculptures are not only accurate, they are informative embodiments of the essence of the person or people. We have been fortunate in winning many commissions that recognize heroes in a wide range of fields, including those who have made great contributions to humanity’s progress.
Daub & Firmin has a long track record of winning, researching, designing, creating, managing, delivering, and documenting major public monuments. We have won the trust of federal, state, city, and private sponsors across North America.
Quality of Sculpting
Eugene Daub is widely recognized in the American figurative-sculpture community as one of the great sculptors in the United States today. He has over 30 years of experience producing elegant art; importantly, most of the national public-art commissions have been won and completed in the last few years. He has been honored with many awards, including the J. Sanford Saltus Award, the Arthur Ross Award for sculpture from the Institute for Classical Architecture and Classical America, and the American Numismatic Association Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Bas Relief Sculpture. He has been elected to the top positions in the American sculpture community. His extensive portfolio of works is in many public monuments and permanent collections in the U.S. and overseas. He has taught hundreds of courses and mentored many fine sculptors. He is at the top of his game.
Unusual Capability and Reliability as a Team
In complement to Eugene’s talents, Rob Firmin sculpts with him, while his distinct contributions are in-depth historical research, concept development, production, and project management. Many committees have learned more about their subjects from us than they knew previously. His University of Chicago doctorate in demography and Columbia MBA, plus executive responsibilities for 25 years in high technology, including as an entrepreneur-CEO, and large number of successful projects in public art and technology, significantly reduces project uncertainty. Dr. Firmin won an award from the National Civic Art Society for his design for the Dwight Eisenhower Memorial in Washington in 2011.
Understand the Community
We always work closely with the communities relevant to the subject to gain a special understanding of its aspirations and perspectives, before the design is created.. (In one case we even conducted a statistically valid survey because that information was appropriate to the project.) We interview community members, family, associates, experts, museum curators, etc. We collaborate easily with all parties associated with the project. We document our projects for our sponsor’s archives.
Professional Project Management
All projects are conducted with state-of-the-art project management (PM). Dr. Firmin has created over 50 significant projects in sculpture, technology-product development and company formation, and has published peer-reviewed theoretical advances in PM (for the semiconductor industry). We remain in open communication with sponsoring committees throughout each project. Our maintenance guidelines were developed in conjunction with the nation’s leading patina authority. All of these factors ensure the highest quality results: on time and within budget.
D&F has two studios: one in San Pedro, California, and one in Kensington, California. The office is in Kensington.
Eugene Daub is D&F’s principal sculptor. He has work in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institute, The British Museum, Ellis Island Museum, as well as many public-sculpture installations across the United States. He is accomplished in all sculpture modes and in a wide range of more general art. Recent major Daub & Firmin commissions include: Abraham Lincoln at his birthplace, Thomas Jefferson at the University of Virginia, A National Salute to the Military, the four monumental niche sculptures for the Rotunda of the Utah State Capitol, and an important monument for the U.S. Capitol (name withheld until unveiling this spring). Prior to forming Daub & Firmin Studios with Rob Firmin, he also created the U.S.S. San Diego monument, and two major monuments commemorating Lewis and Clark: the 18-foot tall Corps of Discovery in Kansas City; and the 17 by 8-foot bronze relief, now the centerpiece of the Montana State Senate chamber. New commissions are the Peace Officers Memorial in Orange County, the Port of Los Angeles Police Headquarters lobby relief in glass and bronze, and three large commemorative reliefs in San Francisco International Airport.
Eugene’s awards include the J. Sanford Saltus Award and the American Numismatic Association Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Bas Relief Sculpture. In 2002 he was awarded the Arthur Ross Award for sculpture from the Institute for Classical Architecture and Classical America.
Collections, Not Counting Permanent Public Installations
American Numismatic Society, New York
Bank of America, San Francisco
British Museum, London
Brookgreen Sculpture Gardens, South Carolina
City of Oakland, California
Dutch Consulate, Philadelphia
Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia
Explorers Museum, Kansas City
Monuments Conservancy, New York
Helsinki Art Museum
Klein Foundation, Philadelphia
Koret Foundation, San Francisco
Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis
New York University, New York
NORCAL Sculpture Garden, San Francisco Tiffany’s, New York
U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C.
Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.
St. John Neumann, Miami, Florida
UNICEF Headquarters, New York
United States Treasury, Washington, D.C.
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
University of San Diego
University of San Francisco
Ross Award for Sculpture, Classical America
J. Sanford Saltus Award
Artists’ Guild, Gold Award
2 Brookgreen Sculpture Gardens
American Medallic Sculpture Assn
Medal for the FIDEM, Helsinki
American Numismatic Society
Girard College, Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts, Philadelphia
University of Pittsburgh
Alfred University, New York
Academy of Art College (now University), San Francisco, Sculpture Dept. 1993-2002
Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, Florida, Sculpture Instructor 1994-current
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC, 2008-current
Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture, Rutgers University NJ
Loveland Academy of Fine Arts, Loveland, Colorado, Sculpture Instructor 1993-2006
Pennsylvania Academy for the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Scottsdale Artist's School, Scottsdale, AZ.,Sculpture Instructor 1991-current
University of Arts, Philadelphia, PA
University of Connecticut, Fairfield CT., Sculpture Workshop - Fall 1992
Associations and Memberships
Fellow and member of Board, National Sculpture Society, and former Vice President
President, American Medallic Sculpture Association
Fellow, The American Numismatic Society
American Medallic Sculpture Association
American Numismatic Association
Medallic Art Society of Canada
In addition to hands-on art creation, Rob works on concepts, composition, research, model building, and project management. His career and education have ranged across: realist-figurative sculpture, the formal study of history and art history, to the invention of project management techniques, financial risk reduction, dynamic process control, modeling techniques, and software concepts and design. He has founded and run a few companies around these ideas, the best known being internationally award-winning Javelin Software Corporation (Chairman & CEO), and has managed numerous complex projects—in both public art and high tech. These quantitative and managerial capabilities come into play many times during our public-art projects.
Rob has, along with Eugene, composed and/or sculpted 40 major public-art works (counting individual figures). In addition to sculpting, he performs our computations and designs for artwork dimensions, production, architectural features, and installations (e.g., custom gantries). He is the liaison with contractors. Mentors include: Eugene Daub (figure, monumental figure, portrait, relief, and medals); Thomas Marsh (portrait, sculpture aesthetics); Carol Tarzier (figure, portrait); Stephen Perkins (anatomy, figure); Tebby George (figure, portrait); Bill Farnan (relief); and various drawing instructors.
Rob’s individual sculptures include portraits, figures and reliefs, including his own commissions. He is in process on a full-figure public-art portrait of the California architect Julia Morgan, and of Knud Bjarkov, a hero of the Danish Resistance of WW II. He is an Associate Member of the National Sculpture Society.
Memorial Designs & the Eisenhower Memorial
Rob’s design for the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC won an award in the National Civic Art Society’s competition this year, and is the favorite of the committee’s chairman (its only architect). He also designed the plan for the 2-acre Oklahoma Freedom For All Memorial, and the composition for the Abraham Lincoln monument in Kentucky. He folds his research and historical perspective into composition design with Eugene.
Bronze & Wax Proportions Database
Bronze castings do not retain exactly the same proportions as the original sculpture when it is molded. Rob has carefully measured our originals and our finished bronzes to discover the degrees to which different kinds of features shrink disproportionately. Our team’s data on disproportionate shrinkage and how to correct for it is unique to sculpture, to the best of our knowledge.
The American War-Dead Database
Rob is creating the first database, as far as we know, of all-known American war dead from the beginning of the Revolutionary War to the present. It is nearly complete.
Research & Education
Rob’s research techniques were developed during the study of historiography, history and art history in his double majors, with honors, at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and were expanded into quantitative arenas with a Ph.D. in demography at the University of Chicago. All of our projects are initiated with extensive research. For example, the Jefferson monument consumed three months/seven days per week before the proposal was created.
Project Management, Financial Planning & General Management Experience
The most important single task in project management is to maintain clear communication with all parties, using organized information. Management experience is critical when assuming responsibility for the large sums invested in public-art projects. Project management, financial planning and senior business experience eliminate many of the uncertainties commonly associated with complex projects.
Rob’s 31 years of experience in virtually all forms of management, includes approximately 50 significant projects in sculpture, technology-product development and company formation. His MBA from Columbia University helps provide techniques and financial-theory background which are useful for professional management of public-art projects. He has extensive experience working with planners, architects, contractors, and suppliers on our projects.
Rob’s project management experience originated in the high-tech sector at Prime Computer in Massachusetts, where he was head of Financial Planning & Analysis. Projects involved planning the construction of factories, forecasting the hiring of thousands of employees, forecasting demand for products, and timing all of the critical elements required to drive an emerging Fortune 500 company forward. Subsequent experience includes founding Javelin Software Corporation, and running it throughout its eight-year existence. These experiences are brought to bear on our art projects.
“Thomas Jefferson’s Survey of the University of Virginia,” National Museum of Surveying: Turning the Horizon, vol.6, issue 1, 2007, and reprinted in the Old Dominion Surveyor. Seven published, peer-reviewed quantitative research papers about a new concept Rob developed: the probabilistic critical path, including two measures to help project managers track and forecast project outcomes using that concept; and predictive statistical process control. These methods support project management.