Bust of Tony Bennett Unveiled
October 18, 2007
The Players, New York City

Tony Bennett with Mellon and bust, in process
Mellon Studio
Tony Bennett bust, Bronze
© Marc Mellon 2003

A bronze bust of legendary performer Tony Bennett was unveiled in a ceremony at The Players, the historic club on Gramercy Park, on October 18, 2007.

Everett Raymond Kinstler, internationally acclaimed portrait painter, chaired the proceedings.  Also unveiled were works by six top-tier contemporary painters, Loryn Brazier, Linda Kyser Smith, Dawn Whitelaw, Johanna Spinks, David Beynon Pena, and Michael Shane Neal. 

The Bennett bust, by sculptor Marc Mellon, was crafted in the artist’s studio from a series of life sittings with the singer in 2003.  Said Mellon, “I upgraded my sound system before the first sitting with Tony. While I sculpted and Tony sat, I played a wide selection of standards from the great American songbook.  Tony is a dedicated and highly accomplished painter in his own right.  As I worked, my daughter Julia and other models posed for Tony, who had a sketchbook in hand.  I’m now blessed with a pen and ink portrait of my daughter, signed by the great ‘Benedetto.’”

Marc knew the bust was near completion when Tony turned to it, smiled, and exclaimed, "Now, it’s smokin!"

The first cast of the bust is part of Tony Bennett’s personal collection, and is displayed amidst the singer’s many Grammy Awards.  The cast now installed at The Players had previously been exhibited by The National Sculpture Society in Manhattan.

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