The Heisman Trophy is an annual award for the most outstanding college football player in the country. The award was founded in 1935 as the Downtown Athletic Club (DAC) trophy, which was renamed the year later after the death of the club’s first athletic director, John Heisman. It is the oldest overall trophy in college football and is the most prestigious individual award. Since 1977 the presentation of the trophy has been broadcast on television. Most winners of the Heisman go on to play professional football and are taken with an early round draft picks. The trophy itself is well recognized and features a footballer in the classic stiff arm pose. Let’s find out who designed the Heisman.
Who designed the Heisman Trophy?
The Heisman trophy was designed by sculptor Frank Eliscu. He asked Ed Smith, a leading New York University football player, to pose for the statue. Eliscu was just 23 at the time of creating the trophy and was virtually unknown in the art community at the time. He created the original plaster model and mold of the trophy. The mold was used to create the trophy until the 1970’s when it was replaced. The trophy is cast bronze and has been cast by the Roman Bronze Works in New York since the beginning of the award. It is about 34.3 cm (13.5 in) tall and weighs 11.3 kg (25 lbs). The following is a picture of the 1994 Heisman Trophy won by Rashaan Salaam:
Did you know?
Ed Smith didn’t realize that he was the original model for the trophy until a documentary filmmaker tracked him down in 1982. The DAC presented him with his own trophy in 1985.
The original plaster cast of the trophy created by Eliscu sold for $228,000 at an auction in 2005. The original mold, together with the last bronze created from it, sold in 2008 for $89,625.
Eliscu went on to create more famous works including the work entitled “Falling Books” above the entrance of the James Madison Memorial Building.