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Tribute to Married Love is a bronze sculpture of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill seated next to his wife Clementine and was dedicated on May 12, 1984. It is a larger replica of its original, both created by Oscar Nemon. Sir Churchill was an influential political figure for many decades and created relationships around the world. His ties to Kansas City started when President Harry Truman endorsed an invitation to speak in his home state of Missouri, at Westminster College in Fulton. Here, he would go on to deliver the famous “Iron Curtain” address on March 5, 1946. At the reception following this event, Churchill met Kansas City’s Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark. Their partnership started a few years later when Hall discovered Churchill’s artistic talents and used several of his paintings to create a Christmas Card collection for Hallmark in 1950. Their friendship continued until Churchill’s death in 1965. During construction around the Country Club Plaza in 1981, Miller Nichols commissioned Nemon for a piece to adorn the busy street corner. Nemon chose a statue of Churchill due to his personal ties to the area. The nearly 6 foot by 12 foot sculpture is accompanied by benches and a sound box playing recordings of Churchill’s speeches, and is a reminder of his international contributions and friendship with Hall that started on the remarkable March day in Fulton, Missouri.

Tribute to Married Love depicts Winston Churchill seated next to his wife Clementine.

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The original Married Love sculpture now rests at the Churchill family's former home in Chartwell, Kent, England.

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Joyce Hall (left) stands with longtime friend Winston Churchill (right).

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Artist Oscar Nemon with his sculptured bust of Winston Churchill and Churchill's attempt of Nemon.

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A Hallmark advertisement for greeting cards featuring Churchill's paintings.

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Hallmark Christmas Cards featuring Churchill's paintings.

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The dedication program for the Tribute to Married Love sculpture on the Country Club Plaza c. May 12,1984

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The Official Program for Churchill Day at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri.

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Tribute to Married Love is a larger than life bronze sculpture depicting Sir Winston Churchill seated next to his wife Baroness Clementine Spencer-Churchill. This 6 foot by 12 foot sculpture is a larger replica of the original Married Love, which now resides on the grounds of The Churchill's former family home in Chartwell, Kent, South England. Married Love was created by British artist Oscar Nemon, known for his many works of Churchill and other notable individuals. Nemon was commissioned for the sculpture by Miller and Jeanette Nichols in 1981 as a showpiece at this major intersection into the Country Club Plaza in tribute to Churchill’s political connections to the area and friendship with Joyce C. Hall, founder of Hallmark (1910).

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874-1965) was an influential political figure for Britain. He served in the House of Commons, was elected as a Statesman from 1901 to 1915 and Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 and 1951 to 1955, and won the Nobel Prize in 1953. In response to the invasion of Nazi’s into Czechoslovakia in 1939 and the onset of World War II, Churchill started a national coalition, partnering with Premier Joseph Stalin of Soviet Union and United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt to promote unity through alliance in resistance to Germany. Once the war ended, the Soviets and their communistic policies were quickly gaining control of eastern Europe. Dr. Franc McCluer, President of Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, invited Churchill to speak at the school. Carrying on the allied relationship of Churchill and President Roosevelt, successor and now-President Harry Truman endorsed this invitation personally with a hand written note at the bottom remarking, “This is a wonderful school in my home state. Hope you can do it. I’ll introduce you. Best regards, Harry Truman.” Churchill accepted the invitation and on March 5, 1946 he gave his famous “Iron Curtain” speech - titled “Sinews of Peace” - which warned of the Soviet’s control and is seen by many as the initiation of the Cold War. 

The Hall-Churchill relationship started when the two first met during the reception of the “Sinews of Peace” speech. It wasn’t until a few years later when Hall was reading a book written by Churchill, Painting as a Pastime, that he realized Churchill had artistic talent. Hall proposed an idea that would showcase a variety of Churchill’s paintings in a series of Hallmark Christmas cards. Churchill was modest about his own work and hesitant at the thought of it not selling, however, he quickly responded telling his lawyers, “That’s a good firm. Make a deal with them!” Hallmark was granted a three-year contract with sole reproduction rights to Churchill’s art. First, eight oil paintings were sent to be considered and photographed for the card collection. In 1950, the first boxed set collection was released, receiving four and half million pre-orders. With that success, Hallmark produced more of Churchill’s work over the years which included cards, calendars, and prints. This relationship with Hallmark led to Churchill's first art exhibition, “Winston Churchill, The Painter,” which debuted at Nelson Gallery of Art on January 22, 1958 and traveled the country. After Churchill’s passing in 1965, Joyce Hall and long time friend Dwight Eisenhower flew to England together in a White House aircraft for Sir Churchill’s funeral services. 

Artist of Married Love Oscar Nemon (1906-1985) was an admirer of Churchill and known for creating many sculptures of him. Born as Oskar Neumann to a Jewish family in Osijek, Croatia, he was a self-taught artist with instinct and affinity for portraiture and sculpting, commissioning work in his teenage years. With rising anti-Semitism after World War I he moved to Vienna, Austria and worked as an apprentice with local sculptor Anton Hanak. A short time later he set up a personal studio where he commissioned portraits while experimenting with expressionism and cubism. His uncle owned a bronze factory which allowed him to cast his work. After a year he moved to Brussels, Belgium and studied at the Académie des Beaux Arts. Here, he won a Gold medal and went on to show at his first major exhibition. Shortly afterward, he changed the spelling of his birth name and started a career. Nemon had a personal charm, amusing his sitters with stories and anecdotes, drawing their animated impressions to produce his expressive sculptures. Throughout the 1930s Nemon sculpted many notable people, including Sigmund Freud, in which the wooden bust is now on display at the Freud Museum of London. As the political landscape continued to darken with the uprising of Hitler, Nemon moved to England and in 1941, he met Patricia Stuart and started a family. World War II struck personally tragedy to Nemon as he lost his mother, grandmother, brother, and most of his extended family as victims of the Holocaust. This is when his admiration for Churchill grew stronger. Nemon first met Churchill at La Mamounia hotel in 1951 and secretly sketched him in the dining room, impressing both Sir and Lady Churchill. They developed a friendship and Nemon went on to sculpt Churchill many times. In one sitting, Churchill attempted to sculpt Nemon, which is now on display at the Chartwell home. 

In 1981, the Country Club Plaza continued to rebuild and expand after the devastating flood in 1977. As Miller Nichols oversaw the construction on the Wornall bridge at Ward Parkway, he pursued to adorn the southwest corner with a new piece of art. Oscar Nemon was a personal recommendation from Nichols’ dentist and determined that a statue of Winston Churchill would be fitting due to his connections to the area. After deciding on a companion piece to his original sculpture Married Love, the $250,000 bronze was commissioned. To help pay for the artwork, Nichols partnered with the English Speaking Union who arranged a theatrical performance to spark interest. The ESU is a program established in the UK in 1918 that empowers peace through better communication between people of different cultures and countries, in which Churchill was Chairman from 1921-1925. On November 28, 1982 a benefit was held at the Folly Theatre in which the one time showing about Churchill’s life, “Churchill” succeeded in raising the funds. A Tribute to Married Love was installed on the Plaza and dedicated on May 12, 1984 and is accompanied by benches and a sound box playing recordings of Churchill’s speeches. The statue is a reminder of the 15 year partnership and friendship with Joyce Hall, the relationships he built with notable political figures from the area, and the remarkable day in Fulton, Missouri that started it all.

Marsh, Joanna. Winston Churchill's Kansas City Connection, The Kansas City Public Library. August 28th 2020. Accessed December 15th 2021.

History, Oscar Nemon Official Site. Accessed December 15th 2021.

Nicholas, Herbert G.. Winston Churchill, Britannica. November 26th 2021. Accessed December 15th 2021.

Winston Churchill - painter, Hallmark Art Collection. Accessed December 15th 2021.

Partners - The English Speaking Union, International Churchill Society. Accessed December 15th 2021.

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