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Mustangs - University of Texas - Austin, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 30° 17.224 W 097° 44.003
14R E 621814 N 3351274
Quick Description: This bronze sculpture of seven mustangs is on display at the back entrance of the Texas State Museum on the University of Texas at Austin's main campus.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 6/29/2014 8:32:20 PM
Waymark Code: WMM10Z
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
Views: 4

Long Description:
Located on the 24th Block of San Jacinto Blvd on the University of Texas at Austin's main campus (right behind the Texas Memorial Museum), the statue consists of seven horses scrambling down the side of a mountain. Created by Alexander (Alec) Phimister Proctor, a great sculptor of western life, the $60,000 statue was commissioned by Ralph R. Ogden, an Austin oilman and cattleman, in 1937. Its official name is "The Seven Mustangs", but it is known simply as "Mustangs" by the local campus students. For many years, students used to drape these mustangs in a large net before the annual football game between the UT Austin Longhorns and the SMU Mustangs.

Proctor did the actual sculpting in Jim Hogg County, near Hebbronville, Texas. In 1941, his completed plaster models were sent to the Gorham Company in Providence, Rhode Island for casting in bronze, but the final casting had to be delayed due to metal shortages in preparation of WWII. It was not until 1948 that the work was finally completed, at which point the resulting 10-ton statue could finally be shipped to Austin on a freight car.

"Mustangs" turned out to be Proctor's last monumental commission, and was a sublime symbol of freedom and self-reliance: a fitting finale to the nature-lover's spectacular career. As accurately described by the Smithsonian Institute's listing, it represents:

"[...] Seven wild horses scrambling down an incline. A rearing stallion is surrounded by five mares and a colt. The sculpture is set atop a large granite base. Steps lead up to the memorial. The front of the base, divided into three sections, bears inscriptions and a quote from J. Frank Dobie, regarding the history of the wild horse in Texas"

The main inscriptions on the bronze statue and the base pillar are as follows:


(on proper right side of statue's self base):



(center panel):

They carried the men
who made Texas

Presenter to
the people of Texas
Ralph Rogers Ogden
Ethel Ogden

Alec Phimister Proctor. Sculptor


(right panel):

These horses bore Spanish explorers
across two continents. They brought to the
plains Indians the age of horse culture.
Texas cowboys rode them to extend the
ranching occupation clear to the plains
of Alberta. Spanish horse, Texas cow pony,
and mustang were all one in those times
when, as sayings went, a man was no better
than his horse, and a man of foot was no
man at all. Like the longhorn, the mustang
has been virtually bred out of existence.
But mustang horses will always symbolize
western frontiers, long trails of longhorn
herds, seas of pristine grass, and men riding
free in a free land. -- J. Frank Dobie
Name or use 'Unknown' if not known: The Seven Mustangs

Figure Type: Animal

Artist Name or use 'Unknown' if not known: Alexander (Alec) Phimister Proctor

Date created or placed or use 'Unknown' if not known: Sculpted in 1941, Dedicated on May 31, 1948

Materials used: Sculpture: bronze; Base: granite

Location: Behind the Texas Memorial Museum on the University of Texas' main campus, on the San Jacinto Blvd side (and just South of the San Jacinto garage)

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