Research for this book began in 1985. During that year, before the observance of the Texas Sesquicentennial, every community under the Lone Star planned projects and events to dramatize its unique role in the development of the state's colorful past. Some of the activities were full of hype, as gregarious and grandiose as the state's reputation warrants; others were as uncomplicated as a family gathering at a tiny cemetery to clean the grounds and place flowers at the resting place of forebears whose lives helped mold the past that was being celebrated. With wagon trains, chili cook-offs, and fireworks displays, Texans observed the passing of 150 years of independence. Yet, like most birthdays and anniversaries, the 1986 Sesquicentennial also provided a time for reflection, and it inspired this study of the state's cultural heritage as portrayed in outdoor sculpture.
Although this survey is designed as a reference tool and guide, its primary purpose is to record the first inventory of the state's publicly sited sculpture. The finished product, however, is not so much a book about art as it is a book about Texas history and culture. It is also a book about Texans--their patriotism, their religious beliefs, their shared values, their sense of humor, and their changing attitudes about public art as a part of their everyday environment.
Within the context of this study, "publicly sited" or "outdoor sculpture" refers to works that are easily accessible for public viewing and are not confined in a building. The survey includes the gamut of outdoor sculpture, from Confederate soldier statues to modern abstractions; however, it generally does not include bas-relief plaques, text panels, or decorative sculpture on buildings. Cemetery monuments are not included unless the memorial represents the work of a well-known artist, marks the grave site of a famous person, or provides a unique contribution to the study of outdoor sculpture in Texas. Aesthetic quality was not a criterion in the survey, because a work that lacks artistic merit may have other redeeming features, such as historic or social significance.
Parenthetically, Texas has a rich cultural heritage from the Spanish colonial period. The ancient Spanish missions of Texas represent the oldest and some of the most beautiful architecture and ornamentation in the state. Unfortunately, no freestanding outdoor sculpture survives from that era. Readers interested in Spanish colonial art and architecture can contact the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park or consult a number of books on the subject, such as The WPA Guide to Texas by Don Graham, San Antonio's Mission San José by Fr. Marion A. Habig, O.F.M., and Missions of Old Texas by James Wakefield Burke.
Outdoor Sculpture in Texas presents an alphabetical list of cities, with works listed under the city where they are located. Special collections and sculpture gardens are presented separately at the end of the listing for the relevant city. (In some instances, a special collection or sculpture garden may be the only listing under a city.) Individual works are listed under the artist's last name. The artist's life dates and nationality are given in parentheses. The term "American" refers to a citizen of the United States of America. The artists' nationalities refer to the countries in which they spent most of their adult lives or in which they hold citizenship; the native country appears after the adopted homeland. Native Texans are identified, and an asterisk indicates that the artist is, or was during most of his or her lifetime, a resident of the state. For each sculpture or monument that is not part of a special collection or sculpture garden, the following information is given under the artist's name:
- Title and date:
- The title refers to the name of the work. If the sculpture has no specific name, the work is identified by its subject. For example, some Confederate soldier statues are identified simply as Confederate Soldier Statue. If a sculpture is a facsimile or working model, that is noted in the title. The ancient Greek statue of Nike is listed as Nike of Samothrace Facsimile, and Felix de Weldon's Marine memorial is listed as the Iwo Jima War Memorial Original Working Model. If a work is deliberately untitled by the artist, it is recorded as an untitled piece. Unless otherwise indicated, the date refers to the year in which the work was created.
- Type, size, and material:
- Because artistic terms can be ambiguous and open to broad interpretation, the terms used to classify a sculpture are intended to help the reader identify a work, but they are not intended to be definitive. Unless otherwise specified, dimensions are given in the following order: height, width, and depth. The materials are the primary media used by the artist to produce the finished work.
- If no street address exists for the site where the sculpture is located, directions usually are provided to guide the reader.
- In most cases the entity responsible for commissioning or purchasing the sculpture is identified.
- The comments section provides additional information for selected works.
To compile a comprehensive inventory, the author surveyed all 254 Texas counties. Interviews, questionnaires, published material, and direct observation were the primary methods used to accumulate data. Texas artists, foundries, museums, libraries, universities, state agencies, private businesses, chambers of commerce, municipal arts councils, and county historical commissions all provided helpful information. Undoubtedly, some works were overlooked, and other researchers are invited to enlarge and improve this first effort.
Angel, John (1881-1960 British)
1930 Portraiture; larger than life-size; bronze
Location: Rice University campus Quadrangle
Funding: Rice University Board of Trustees
Comments: The seated figure of William Marsh Rice, founder of Rice University, is mounted on a pink Texas granite monument in which his ashes are entombed. Drawings and specifications for the pedestal were prepared by the architectural firm of Cram and Ferguson of New York City. For the portrait statue, Ralph Adams Cram recommended John Angel, who opened a studio in New York City during the 1920: to work on decorative sculpture for the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. As a consulting architect on the cathedral, Cram was familiar with Angel's work. The memorial depicts Rice holding an open book and a bronze scroll bearing a reproduction of the original master plan for the campus.
Heizer, Michael (b. 1944 American)
45 DEGREES, 90 DEGREES, 180 DEGREES
1984 Abstract; 3 elements:
45 Degrees 21'6" x 18'x 22'; 90 Degrees 23'6" x 12' x 18'; 180 Degrees 8'6" x 18'x 20'; granite and concrete
Location: Rice University campus Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory
Funding: Donated to Rice University in tribute to George and Alice Brown by their family