John Goodman will portray a character inspired by Philadelphia architect and sculptor Walker Hancock in George Clooney’s upcoming film Monuments Men. The film follows a group of men in WWII who worked to salvage cultural treasures across Europe.
Hancock was originally born in St. Louis, Mo., but upon returning to the states from WWII, he took up a job as the head of the sculpture department at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He worked there until 1967. His work as a sculptor includes a bust of President George H.W. Bush that stands in the rotunda at the Capitol, and the “Angel of Resurrection” statue that stands in the main concourse of 30th Street Station. The statue memorializes the 2,000 employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad who lost their lives in the war.
Hancock and the other men portrayed in Monuments Men will be honored at the statue tomorrow when veterans of WWII’s European campaign hold a special wreath laying prior to the film’s opening on Friday. The ceremony starts at 3 p.m. at Amtrak station at the base of the “Angel of Resurrection” statue. Catch the Monuments Men trailer below, and a nice summary of the other characters in the movie here.