Our usually on-the-ball Junior Woodchuck Torsten Adair may have missed the ball by not linking to this fantastic gallery of butter/lard sculptures from the Iowa State Fair. The majestic heritage of the butter carving contest is brought forth by this 1940 depiction of Republican presidential aspirant Wendell Willkie, sculpted by Charles Umlauf.


The gallery also plays tribute to the terrific Norma “Duffy” Lyon, the Rodin of Iowa butter sculptures, here seen working on an Elvis in 1997.

Seriously, you really need to look at this gallery.



  1. Ah, Wendell Wilkie.

    In our house he’s only known as a punchline in that awesome Bugs Bunny cartoon with The Gremlin.

    “Could that have been… a gremlin?”

  2. (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa… think Woodstock on wheels… or the world’s longest pub crawl.)

    Or the [non-racing] cycling community’s Comic-Con.

    If you must think Woodstock, think Woodstock with adequate food, water, and facilities … or the world’s longest *pie* crawl. They don’t usually have butter sculptures, but when he was retired you might get to see, or ride with, Lance Armstrong.

  3. A strange coincidence: Wendell Wilkie’s grandson rode in RAGBRAI this year. He lives in Minneapolis.

    Just thought I’d share.

    — Michael Morain, Des Moines Register reporter