Creating in Bronze is deliberate. One must know the difficult medium of bronze and mold it with your imagination.
Bill Ludwig was born in Hartford, Connecticut and attended art school in the early 60’s. A formal academic education was strongly emphasized during this period of time. He passed away in November of 2016.
At the Hartford Art School, he studied under Wolfgang Behl, Rudolph Zallinger, Clifford Jones and Paul Zimmerman and graduated cum laude in 1966 with a BFA. He went on to do graduate study at Tulane University under Jules Struppeck and Jessie Poesch and received an MFA in Sculpture with a minor in American Art History in 1968. Both schools emphasized cast bronze sculpture, and in the same year he received his MFA, Ludwig began a co-operative foundry with another sculptor. The first one-man show of his work at a professional gallery occurred the same year (1968), and he cast his first life-sized figure in bronze the following year.
Ludwig managed his own studio/foundry operation in the New Orleans area since 1972. In 1985, he designed and built a 3,000+-sq. ft. art casting foundry/studio in Albany, Louisiana. Ludwig has cast all of his own sculpture as well as work for area sculptors and architects, and has the longest continuously-operating fine arts foundry in Louisiana. Ludwig's most-seen sculpture is the Vietnam memorial, which features three soldiers carrying a wounded comrade. It was commissioned in February 1984 and dedicated on Veterans Day of that year on the plaza outside the Superdome.
Another conspicuous Ludwig sculpture is his Reilly likeness in the 800 block of Canal Street. The bronze, showing Reilly in a jacket, muffler and his ever-present cap with ear flaps, stands outside the building that used to be the D.H. Holmes department store, now the Chateau Bourbon Hotel.
The model Mr. Ludwig used was John "Spud" McConnell, a local actor and radio personality who has portrayed Reilly in staged readings of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
The Ignatius Reilly sculpture outside the Chateau Bourbon Hotel in the 800 block of Canal Street as was photographed in 2002.
Other local Ludwig pieces include Jesus Christ on a cypress cross in St. Luke the Evangelist Church in Slidell and the statues of Malcolm Woldenberg and his grandson, which are in Woldenberg Park.
Public sculptures elsewhere include two citrus workers for Leu Gardens in Orlando, Fla., and depictions of a man and boy for Presbyterian Homes in Lake Forest, Ill.
Mr. Ludwig, whose face was wreathed by a fluffy white beard, also cast work for other artists, including Enrique Alferez, Michelle Smith and Patrick Miller; for City Park; and for clients that included Nicholls State University and the U.S. Navy.
His work was shown in 30 one-man shows and 26 two-person shows, and he taught at Tulane and Loyola universities.
Mr. Ludwig served in the Army in Germany from 1953 to 1956. Ludwig has served as visiting artist at colleges and universities in Louisiana, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. He has also served on the faculties at Loyola University and Tulane University in New Orleans. He has been involved in work/study programs with the College of Design at Louisiana and Loyola University of the South that permitted his assistants to obtain college credits.