The Silent Messenger sculpture is a common addition to many Shrine Temples and represents the association of the fraternal organization with the Shriners’ Hospitals for Children, their primary service and philanthropy recipients, and their concern for the well-being of children everywhere. They sculpture also symbolizes the hope children have in adults to help them when they need it.
In most locations the sculpture has been painted or otherwise enhanced with color; however, the sculpture here is left in its original cast fiberglass condition.
The sculpture was inspired by a photograph, called the “Editorial Without Words,” taken in 1970 by Randy Dieter at an outing for young patients at Evansville, Indiana’s Mesker Park. The figure is of a shriner Noble named Albert Hortman, carrying a little girl named Bobbi Jo Wright, whom he noticed was having difficulty getting around. Wright eventually recovered from her surgeries, attended Anderson University, and now tours the country speaking about that day and the work being done at Shriner’s hospitals. Hortman passed away in 2009.
The artist of the sculpture, Fred Guentert, was a Shriner and a lifetime devotee of Egyptian art. He was born in 1922, the same year Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamen. Guentert, who died in 2015, built and decorated his own Egyptian-style coffin.