Vicksburg sculpture project creating awareness of major museum development

Published 7:00 pm Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Mississippi Commission for International Cultural Exchange Inc., the non-profit organization leading the effort to create a major art museum in downtown Vicksburg, has launched a public sculpture project to create awareness of the Mississippi International Arts Pavilion project among the citizens of Vicksburg and its many visitors.

Similar to public sculpture projects previously initiated in Meridian, Jackson and Hattiesburg, the Vicksburg public sculpture project image is derived from a sculptural relief from the famous Porcelain Room from the Royal Palace of Aranjuez in Spain. The MCICE owns the only copy in the world of the famous Porcelain Room.  The “Mississippi Copy” of the Porcelain Room was one of the highlights of “The Majesty of Spain Exhibition” presented in 2001 in Jackson, which attracted the visit of Spain’s King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, as well as 321,000 visitors.

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The sculptural image chosen for the public sculpture project is one of the more than 5,000 sculptural reliefs in the Porcelain Room, which is also one of the greatest examples of the Chinoiserie decorative style. This sculptural image is also the design-basis for the logo of the museum project reflecting the importance of the “Mississippi Copy” of the famous Porcelain Room. 

The “Mississippi Copy” of the Porcelain Room is valued in excess of $8 million and will be permanently installed in the future museum.

Porcelain Princess

To create the Porcelain Princess sculpture, first a wooden version of the sculptural image was produced in Spain by the firm El Barco, which created the “Mississippi Copy” of the Porcelain Room.

After the wooden version of the statue arrived in Mississippi, it was then taken to Blaine Kern Studios in New Orleans, and a copy of the wooden statue was sculpted in clay. The clay version was subsequently shipped to the Philippines where an initial 30 sculptures have been created and are currently enroute by ocean-going vessel to New Orleans.

The statues are referred to as the Porcelain Princess and are made of a heavy-duty fiberglass material weighing approximately 50 pounds. Standing 53-inches tall, the statues are finished to represent a figure made of porcelain with a glossy, white finish. The statues are made to be exhibited indoors or outdoors.

Supporting museum

Kelle Barfield, owner of Lorelei Books, is the first to purchase one of the Porcelain Princess statues. 

“These statues will serve as an important tool to develop awareness of the Mississippi International Arts Pavilion project,” Barfield said. “Vicksburg has shown recently how cohesive this community can be in its economic development efforts.  Our businesses, schools, and tourism industry will benefit greatly from a museum of this caliber, and I was pleased to make a statement of support by purchasing a statue.”

“This public sculpture project will demonstrate our community’s support of the museum as we seek funding from businesses, foundations, individuals and others,” Jack Kyle, executive director of the MCICE, said. “The two similar projects I organized in Jackson and Hattiesburg were very successful and widely enjoyed by the public.”

Individuals, civic groups, businesses, and schools are all encouraged to participate in the project. The statues are appropriate for placement in businesses, schools, and residences. Approximately one-third of the statues have already been pre-sold. The cost of each statue is $2,000. A portion of the cost, which will help fund the non-profit working to establish the museum in Vicksburg, is tax deductible. 

To purchase a statue or for additional information, contact Kyle at 601-613-2131 or Further information is also available on the Mississippi International Arts Pavilion website at