National Cowboy Museum

A short time ago while in Oklahoma I had the privileged of visiting the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  I was quite impressed with their large collection of western fine art. Not only was the size of the collection impressive but the work was top notch. They hold some of the most iconic work of the American West.

This monumental piece by James Earl Fraser may be the most iconic Western American sculpture there is. “End of the Trail’ stands more than 18′ tall and greets visitors as they enter the museum.  The sculpture depicts a defeated Native American on his weary horse.   A reverent reminder of the great trials and sacrifices of the American Indian. I could have waited for the room to clear before taking this picture, but I choose not to. I love the imagery of the class gathered around their teacher learning of this great work.

This sculpture is done by Utah’s own Blair Buswell. A larger than life-size sculpture of Charlton Heston in his noted role as Will Penny. I am grateful to know Blair Buswell and to have spend many hours in his studio. He is a living legend in the world of Figurative Sculpture.

This sculpture of John Wayne was created by Blair Buswell’s mentor Ed Fraughton. He too is a Utah born sculptor and has created many great works and is a personal favorite of mine.

“Canyon Princess” by Gerarld Balciar stands as the Focal point at the entrance of one of the main galleries. It was sculpted from a single 31-ton block of Colorado yule marble. The finished sculpture stands 15′ above the base. The work took more than a year to complete and was donated by the artist to the museum. It is a graceful and stunning sculpture.

This sculpture of Abraham Lincoln is another sculpted by the great James Earl Fraser.

“Ring of Bright Waters”


Both of these elegant wildlife sculptures are by Kent Ullberg. He has partnered with Blair Buswell and Ed Fraughton to create the largest sculpture instillation in the world “Spirit of Nebraska’s Wilderness” located in downtown Omaha. Another great place to visit, I have pictures of my visit but will post them in later post.

Yet another great American West artist was Frederick Remington. They have a twice life size casting of his famous “Coming Through the Rye”

We only had a few hours to spend at the museum before we had to catch our flight. I loved every minute of it and only wish I had more time to spend.

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