Trinity Heights - Last Supper Sculpture
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Last Supper Sculpture

A highlight in the St. Joseph Center and Museum is the impressive 22 foot-long wood sculpture of the life-size Last Supper, one of only three in-the-round design wood sculptures in the world.

Last Supper wood sculpture at Trinity Heights Sioux City, Iowa

The Last Supper was completed in 1993 by award-winning carver Jerry Traufler of Le Mars, Iowa after seven years of work. He started with a pencil outline and then took the unique approach of shaping the characters based on his wife and friends, who posed for photographs dressed as individual apostles.

While Traufler based his outline on the Leonardo Da Vinci painting, his use of friends gives the sculpture a special look. At the Last Supper Jesus announced to His disciples that one among them was about to betray Him. Traufler worked to capture the apostle's various expressions conveying attention, questions and discussion.

There are 12 apostles and Jesus in the Last Supper sculpture -- with James and Andrew sculpted as one unit. Each figure weighs 200 to 300 lbs. The work of art also includes individually carved goblets and unleavened bread on a massive table. The wood is basswood and pine.

Thanks to the artistic skill and dedication of Jerry Traufler, the Last Supper can be viewed today in the beautiful octagon room of the St. Joseph Center-Museum where it is now on permanent display.

About the Sculptor
Jerry Traufler and his wife, Arlene, wanted to have this religious work on display in the Midwest, and donated the sculpture to Trinity Heights in 1993. The work was a great achievement after nearly 20 years of woodcarving that began in 1975.

Traufler, a postal employee, had entered and won numerous national and international competitions including, the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto; International Woodcarvers Congress, Davenport; Fur Rendevoux, Anchorage, Alaska; Iowa Woodcarvers Show, Waterloo, Iowa; and the California Woodcarvers Competition.
 

 
 

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