Bronze bust honoring the late Charlie Munger wowed crowd in Omaha at Berkshire meeting

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Artist Yu Shu creates sculptures of Charlie Munger. 
Courtesy: Yu Shu

OMAHA, Neb. — A 24-inch tall, bronze bust sculpture of the late Charlie Munger became a conversation piece for guests who lodged at the Omaha Marriott last weekend for the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.

The hotel, next to Berkshire-owned jewelry store Borsheims, was the preferred quarters for the investment icon, who passed away in November at the age of 99, whenever he visited his hometown and the Berkshire headquarters of his longtime partner and confidante Warren Buffett.

The sculpture, placed in the lobby accompanied by glasses of champagne and brochures, soon grabbed the attention of numerous Berkshire shareholders who walked by and also two special admirers — Munger’s own daughter Wendy and his longtime executive assistant Doerthe Obert.

“I got back to the lobby and the hotel staff was like ‘Doerthe came down twice to look for you,'” Yu Shu, the 39-year-old artist behind the sculpture, told CNBC in an interview. “Then they called Doerthe and she came down. I gave her a hug, and I told her ‘nice to see you again’ and she’s like ‘we’ve never met before.'”

Artist, Yu Shu poses for a photo with busts of Charlie Munger.
Courtesy: Yu Shu

This was indeed not the first time Yu met Obert. The real estate agent-turned artist, herself a Berkshire a shareholder, paid an unexpected visit to Munger’s home in Los Angeles in March 2023, hoping to meet Munger and tell him about the sculpture in the works. While she was declined a meeting, she asked for close-up shots of his profile from Obert in order to fine tune the facial details.

It took a total of 12 months and a number of attempts for Yu to finish the final version of the Munger bust. A visitor to 10 Berkshire annual meetings, she said she was inspired by a piece of life advice from Warren Buffett to turn her love for art — and Berkshire — into a business.

Artist Yu Shu creates sculptures of Charlie Munger. 
Courtesy: Yu Shu

“His words at the 2022 annual meeting resonated with me; ‘If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.’ I was like ‘how could I transform my passion into a business?’ Yu said.

Copies of the full-sized bronze busts are available for $19,500 each, while half-sized cold cast bronze busts are priced at $595. The artist, who grew up in Chengdu, China and currently divides her time between Denver and Taiwan, said she’s working on big-sized Buffett sculptures right now.

“Charlie Munger has always been a personal hero of mine, so he was the subject of my first sculpture,” Yu said. “Creating a bronze sculpture is so similar to value investing; it requires patience and persistence.”

Last weekend, a longtime Berkshire shareholder purchased the Munger bust, the one that once adorned the Marriott lobby. The buyer preferred to remain anonymous but said he hopes to give the artwork to the Munger family.

Yu Shu poses for a photo with Greg Abel during the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.
Courtesy: Yu Shu

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