I'm with you Raspero!
You never know who was on the selection committee or who had connections to whom.
The thing is Mantrid- that Mrs Ball is extremely famous and well known, there's shiploads of photos and films of her, as well as documentaries done off the Hollywood set. There's images of her from every possible direction you can think of, I really do not think it would be at all difficult to find a dozen good photos from every angle very quickly. That may be in contrast to a figure such as Daniel Webster or some well known but not often photographed person.
The 2nd photo is almost scary, no I take that back, it looks like something made for a Halloween event, the first thing I see are those teeth, set on a scowling face and she has this bottle in her hand and a spoon in the other and it's like she's coming at you in almost a threatening way, screaming a: "DRINK THIS NOW!!!!!"
The whole thing is unsettling, no wonder so many hate it and want it replaced.
There's a number of problems with the face portrait, but the lips are all wrong and the eyes and eyebrows as well, Dave Poulin was trying to copy that classic scene in the show, but the eyes and eyebrows on the sculpture in no way have a "surprised" wide eyed look as Mrs Ball is depicted.
The dress and it's creases and folds is not bad but it has an amateurish look to the way it was executed, with the creases and folds almost being an afterthought. I have seen some seriously good, very realistic drapery carved in stone even and the effect was the drapery covering the figure had an almost transparent look to it, with more definition of the body under it. Of course Mrs Ball's dress had more substance and weight to the fabric which blunts such creases and folds you'd see more in thinner fabric, but it still doesn't have the right "feel."
This is a case where when drapery with it's folds and creases is well done- you take away the feeling the figure is alive underneath the clothing, you don't get that sense with this sculpture, it has a rubbery "Play-Doh" appearance to the body itself.
I've seen the portraits of really talented sculptors who accurately portrayed a person who was already deceased and it looked just like the person in the photos, I believe we have one here who did a larger than life bronze of a well dressed gentleman who was if memory serves me- the founder of some town in California and they wanted the bronze in a park.
I remember how well that bronze looked when it was done, Celoron should have commissioned that sculptor to do the model!
Just at random, here's a bronze sculpture of George Washington Carver by the late Christian Peterson, his style on this is interesting, it has a sculpted texture and looks very lifelife. Peterson was unique in that he was a full time sculptor at the University of Iowa in Ames and during his years there he created all of the various sculptures, fountain and murals around the campus in stone, bronze and terracotta. There is an excellent book about him that I bought.