On Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Sandra Trattner and Steve Wolfson generously announced that they are donating a bronze sculpture in honor of their parents Elaine and Wil Wolfson that will be placed at Main Street Overlook Park. The bronze sculpture titled Mute Swan Protecting Her Cygnets will be placed in the nest where Main Street overlooks Lake Mirror Promenade.
Steve Wolfson said, “This piece of art tells our family story with the mother swan protecting her young and it will rest near the place where my grandfather stood when he first came to Lakeland in 1909.” He added, “My sister and I are grateful to dedicate the sculpture in honor of our mom and dad. Although we don’t live in Lakeland, the City has been such a huge part of our lives.”
The Wolfson family has a rich history that starts in Europe with Cy Wolfson emigrating from Russia to Ellis Island, NY and eventually settling in Lakeland as an early pioneer. He became one of the very first retail shop owners in downtown. In the 1920’s Cy and Frances Wolfson owned and operated the Famous Department Store on the south side of Munn Park.
Wil is one of the four Wolfson children who grew up in Lakeland. He attended the University of Florida Pharmacy School and served his country during WWII. Wil and his two brothers fought in the South Pacific and had a battlefield reunion at Guadalcanal in 1944. Wil married Elaine in 1946 and they had two children Sandra and Steve Wolfson. Wil opened his first pharmacy in 1953, followed by two others before he retired in 1999. Today, he is 94 years old.
As a way of honoring their parents, Steve and Sandra are dedicating the larger than life bronze swan sculpture by renowned artist Ian G. Brennan. Brennan has been a contemporary sculptor and woodcarver to the British Royal Household since 1989. Mute Swan Protecting Her Cygnets is an original piece of art carved from a single English Lime Wood log. It will be commissioned as an 8’ tall bronze piece of art that will nest overlooking Lake Mirror Promenade. In the early 1950’s The Queen of England gifted a pair of Mute Swans from the Royal Flock to the City of Lakeland. The descendent swan population remains a treasure to the community today.
The 8’piece of art will be cast in Sanford, Florida by the American Bronze Foundry. The foundry is the largest of its kind in the Southeast specializing in fine art bronze sculpture castings. The finished piece is planned find its permanent home overlooking Lake Mirror before the end of the year.