"Elvis at 13" Statue
“Elvis at 13” Statue
At the suggestion of an Elvis fan from Ireland, the Elvis Presley Foundation commissioned an impressionistic bronze likeness of Elvis at age 13 to be displayed at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park. Elvis is portrayed in over sized overalls, a full open-collar shirt and plain shoes as evidence of the poverty and humbleness of those early years. The statue is life-size and displayed at ground level so that fans can more directly relate to Elvis as a person. The sculptor worked from photographs now displayed in the museum to determine Elvis’ facial features, hairline and general body size. His height was calculated from a sixth grade class picture by comparing him to the height of another classmate in the picture and by measuring the brick and mortar in the background wall.
The sculptor envisioned Elvis walking to the Tupelo Overlook where he would sit and play his guitar and dream of a better life. The statue is positioned with the chapel on his right and the museum to his left symbolizing the strong spiritual values he learned in Tupelo and the challenge of materialism he would eventually face in Memphis. In August 2002, the statue was unveiled and dedicated to fans worldwide. It is one of the most popular photo opportunities at the Park.