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The recent unveiling of a 24-inch tall bronze bust sculpture of the late Charlie Munger sparked conversations among guests staying at the Omaha Marriott during the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Located next to the Berkshire-owned jewelry store Borsheims, the sculpture served as a tribute to the investment icon who passed away in November at the age of 99. Munger, a longtime partner and confidante of Warren Buffett, often visited his hometown and the Berkshire headquarters, making the hotel the preferred quarters for his stays. The presence of the sculpture in the lobby, accompanied by glasses of champagne and brochures, captured the attention of numerous Berkshire shareholders and garnered admiration from Munger’s own daughter, Wendy, and his longtime executive assistant, Doerthe Obert.

The artist behind the Munger bust, Yu Shu, a 39-year-old real estate agent turned artist and Berkshire shareholder, shared her inspiration behind the creation of the sculpture. Yu’s journey to sculpting Munger began with a visit to his home in Los Angeles in March 2023, where she hoped to meet him and discuss the sculpture she was working on. While she was unable to meet Munger in person, she obtained close-up shots of his profile from Obert to enhance the facial details of the sculpture. Yu’s dedication to the project led her to spend 12 months perfecting the final version of the Munger bust. Drawing from Warren Buffett’s advice to pursue one’s passion, Yu found a way to blend her love for art and Berkshire into a thriving business.

Inspired by Buffett’s words, “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life,” Yu embarked on a mission to turn her passion for art into a successful venture. Her decision to create bronze sculptures, starting with Munger as the subject of her first piece, reflects her admiration for the investment icon. Yu, who grew up in Chengdu, China, and splits her time between Denver and Taiwan, expressed her commitment to creating larger Buffett sculptures in addition to the Munger bust. She likened the process of sculpting to value investing, emphasizing the importance of patience and perseverance in both endeavors.

During the annual meeting weekend, a longtime Berkshire shareholder acquired the Munger bust that was on display in the Marriott lobby. While the buyer chose to remain anonymous, he expressed his intention to gift the artwork to the Munger family as a token of appreciation for Charlie Munger’s enduring legacy. The sale of the sculpture symbolizes the profound impact that Munger had on investors and admirers alike, transcending the realms of finance and art. Yu’s tribute to Munger through her sculpture serves as a fitting homage to a remarkable individual who left an indelible mark on the investment world.

The unveiling of the Munger sculpture at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting not only honored the legacy of Charlie Munger but also highlighted the intersection of art, business, and investing. Yu Shu’s passion for sculpting, coupled with her admiration for Munger and Buffett, exemplifies the transformative power of turning one’s love for a craft into a successful enterprise. The Munger bust stands as a testament to the enduring influence of an investment icon and serves as a poignant reminder of his lasting impact on generations of investors and entrepreneurs.

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