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A sampling of the sculptures at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
"The Buffalo Hunt (Buffalo Runners)" by Charles M. Russell.
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Last week, cub reporter Sullivan West reported on what he saw while visiting the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and a sampling of the sculptures on display. This week, Sullivan focused on sculptures at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

OKLAHOMA CITY – This week, editor Andrew Griffin and I visited the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. I have been before but this was first time to visit with the intention of writing about sculptures I would see.

When we first arrived, we were welcomed by Hollis Williford tall bronze sculpture, Welcome Sundown.

I thought that, like the cowboy in this bronze sculpture, I would feel tired after a long day at work. Standing next to it, I felt brave.

After we entered the museum, we saw a tall bronze sculpture of the popular Western film actor John Wayne.

I learned more about John Wayne by reading about sculptor Edward J. Fraughton’s notes about him and that he was in a lot of cowboy movies. Later, in the gift shop, a TV was playing the 1969 Western film John Wayne starred in – True Grit.

Next, we saw the enormous sculpture of President Abraham Lincoln, made by artist James Earle Fraser. Seeing it reminded me of seeing President Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., which I visited a couple of years ago.

I like this president because he, like Martin Luther King, Jr. (who died on this date 51 years ago, another assassination victim), wanted all people to be free. I sense that Lincoln and King’s spirits connected.

After that, we went into a side gallery and saw some more sculptures. One was Buffalo Sunrise by artist Oreland C. Joe. It was very cool and represented more of the Native American-themed art.

Other Native American-and-Western-nature themed sculptures Allan C. Houser’s Smoke Signals, wildlife artist/sculptor Gerald Balciar’s River Companions (two otters carved from white marble) and Canyon Princess. And famous Western artist Charles M. Russell’s famous 1920 sculpture The Buffalo Hunt (Buffalo Runners).

Like the cowboy at the beginning of my story, today has been long. I am tired but happy. And I look forward to seeing more art and writing about it.

For more information go to

Sculptures at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Thursday, April 4th, 2019 2:00pm to Saturday, April 4th, 2099 2:00pm
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
(405) 478-2250
Prices from: $12.00

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