Sculptor, Engraver, Gunsmith
January 27, 2021
Joe Rundell is literally the ‘Sculptor of History’ in Flint. His statues of Flint’s founding automotive pioneers adorn Saginaw Street in a once historic block that included Smith Bridgman’s Department store, and Kresge’s.
His creations, part of the Automobile Pioneers Collection, includes a superstar roster of the men who largely invented the American automobile industry: Charles Stewart Mott, William C. “Billy” Durant, David Buick, Louis Chevrolet, Albert Champion, Charles Nash, and Walter Chrysler. His most recent statue is the first of a woman, representing Rosie The Riveter. Like Chrysler and Nash’s statues, she will stand at Flint’s Bishop International Airport to welcome travelers.
The Rosie statue is inspired by a poster utilized originally to motivate workers in a California defense plant during World War Two. Rosie is a symbol representing all of the women who stepped up to take charge of the drill presses and rivet guns as most men went to war. Other symbolic Rosies including a woman actually named Rosie! She was a Riveter working in the Willow Run aircraft plant in Ypsilanti. Still another famous Rosie was featured on the Saturday Evening Post as drawn by Norman Rockwell. Rosie The Riveter was also a top pop music hit during the war. The bottom line is that Rosie The Riveter represents all of these women. Joe worked hard to capture that. Fish was proud to be the Master of Ceremonies for that event at Bishop, too!
Joe and his wife live in Flint lumber baron Josiah Begole’s old home. Begole was a member of the House of Representative from 1873 to 1875 and the 19th Governor of Michigan from 1883 to 1885. His home used to be in downtown Flint, and has subsequently been relocated to the Miller Road area.
Joe is a self-taught artist, world class gun smith, and a man of many talents. He is busy at work on a new set of statues with lots of other designs on the drawing board.
Examples of Joe's superior gunsmithing and engraving skills