Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii jumpsuit and cape recreated in bronze statue in Tupelo

Located at the top of the hill on the grounds of Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, Mississippi is a beautiful bronze statue called “Becoming.” It was created in 2015 by sculptor Michiel VanderSommen at the request of the Elvis Presley Birthplace Memorial Foundation. 

It depicts two figures of Elvis: a young 11-year-old boy dreaming of what the future held for him, and the adult superstar Elvis dressed in the American Eagle jumpsuit and cape that Presley famously wore on his “Aloha from Hawaii” concert special in 1973. 

To create a statue as accurately as possible, a sculptor always appreciates the presence of a real-life model. Elvis tribute artist, David Lee, was asked to be the model for the adult statue (pictured below). 

However, a bronze sculpture like this showing intricate details of bejeweled clothing was not an easy feat to pull off. In fact, VanderSommen said in an exclusive interview with the Elvis News Examiner (shown below) that the hardest part of the statue to create was Presley’s cape. 

Watch the interview here: 

This great tribute to Elvis was not the first statue that VanderSommen had created for Elvis Presley’s Birthplace. In fact he was commissioned over a decade earlier to create the “Elvis at 13” statue which stands right near the two-room home where Elvis was born in 1935.

VanderSommen describes in the exclusive interview below how he used forensics to create an extremely accurate representation of Presley’s facial features when he only had a few photographs to work with. 

Watch the interview here:

The Birthplace sells miniature replicas of both statues in their gift shop.

VanderSommen has been creating sculptures for various locations and organizations since the 1980s.

Check out his extensive body of work on his website at https://mvandersommen.com/ 

(Left) Roy Turner, Executive Director of Elvis Presley’s Birthplace and (right) sculptor Michiel VanderSommen

To see these beautiful works of art in person, visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, MS.

More information is available at their website at https://elvispresleybirthplace.com/ 


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