Grady Jensen ’44, was recently featured in an article in The Redding Pilot for donating a sculpture of Mark Twain, with his characters Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, to the Mark Twain Library. The donation was made in memory of his wife, Maggie, who died in April. According to the article, the couple had driven by the statue when it was on loan to the library last year.
“It’s an absolute perfect statue for the Mark Twain Library,” the article quotes Jensen. “My wife and I drove by it several times last summer, and we both were taken with this thing.”
The article goes on to explain, “Mr. Jensen said he was driving past the library recently and it occurred to him that the sculpture, named ‘Mark Twain: Ever the Twain Shall Meet,’ was the perfect way to honor his late wife.”
Jensen, a former member of the HWS Board of Trustees and the Hobart College Alumni Council, graduated from Hobart College with a B.A. in business administration. While a student, he played football and lacrosse, was a member of Echo & Pine and Kappa Sigma. After graduating from Hobart, he earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania – Wharton School of Business.
The full article about his donation of the sculpture follows.
The Redding Pilot
At library: Jensen donates sculpture in memory of his late wife
Susan Wolf • June 23 2009
The bronze sculpture of Mark Twain with book characters Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, along with their park bench, has returned to the Mark Twain Library, this time to stay.
The sculpture by Gary Lee Price has been donated to the library in memory of Mary Margaret “Maggie” Jensen, who died in April. She was the wife of Grady Jensen, who lives at the Meadow Ridge Retirement Community.
Mr. Jensen said he was driving past the library recently and it occurred to him that the sculpture, named “Mark Twain: Ever the Twain Shall Meet,” was the perfect way to honor his late wife. The two had seen the sculpture last summer when it was on loan to the library from Cavalier Galleries Inc. of Greenwich.
“It’s an absolute perfect statue for the Mark Twain Library,” said Mr. Jensen. “My wife and I drove by it several times last summer, and we both were taken with this thing.”
Mr. Jensen called Ron Cavalier of Cavalier Galleries to negotiate a price for the sculpture. Mr. Cavalier represents Mr. Price, who has been sculpting professionally for more than 25 years. He was elected a member of the National Sculpture Society in 1991. According to Mr. Jensen, the sculptor plans to cast only 40 copies of this statue, but, to date, only three to five exist.
After the sculpture was retrieved from Pickwick Plaza in Greenwich, it was delivered to the library on May 29. It was not immediately placed in its permanent resting place since special footings were required for the 900-pound piece of art. Sam Callaway, former library board president and an architect, measured to determine where to put the footings.
“We aren’t worried about it being taken,” said Bob Morton, library board president, pointing to the sculpture’s weight, “but we want it secured to keep it safe.”
The sculpture, which is 72 by 78 by 40 inches, was permanently installed this past Monday. On Sunday, at the library’s annual meeting, Mr. Morton officially announced the receipt of Mr. Jensen’s gift. The memorial plaque will be installed at a later date.
“We are thrilled to have it,” said Mr. Morton. “It got a tremendous amount of attention last year when it was on loan, but the library couldn’t afford it, so it went back [to the gallery] at the end of the summer.”
Describing his late wife, Mr. Jensen said she graduated from Cornell Medical College in New York City with an M.D. degree and did her internship, assistant residency and a year of research at New York Hospital. When the Jensens’ three children – Timothy, Eliza and Caroline – began to arrive, she took care of them and never practiced medicine. She was later a library volunteer at a school and public library and was “a voracious reader.”
Mr. and Mrs. Jensen lived in Scarsdale, N.Y., for 47 years before moving to Meadow Ridge in May 2002.