DescriptionEugene Savage (1883-1978)
Mural Study Texas Hall of State, 1935
Oil on board
15in. x 45in.
Signed lower center: E. Savage 35
Exhibitions: "It Ain't Bragging if it's True" The inaugural exhibition of The Bob Bullock Texas State Historical Museum. Illustrated Page 48. A copy of the catalog signed by the curator of the exhibition accompanies the lot.
Of all the states in the Union, Texas is perhaps the proudest of its history. This sense of state pride was the motivating force behind the creation of Eugene Savage's magnificent murals, painted for the Great Hall of State and unveiled at the opening of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exhibit.
In two magnificent works -- one on the north wall and one on the south wall of the Great Hall, both measuring approximately 30' x 90' -- Savage encapsulated the entire history of the Lone Star State, from its earliest days as a Spanish settlement to the present-day of the mid 1930s. The mural on the north wall is probably the best-known, and most admired, piece of art in the entire state of Texas.
Savage, a New York native and professor of painting at Yale University, completed the massive paintings in just five months, with the aid of James Buchanan 'Buck' Winn, Jr. and Reveau Bassett, a pair of Texas artists, and art students Bill Smith and Lonnie Lyon.
The murals are ambitious works, showcasing such legendary historical figures as the explorers Cabeza de Vaca, Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, and Hernando DeSoto of Spain, as well as Rene Robert Cavelier, Siure de La Salle of France. Generals Santa Ana and Sam Houston are shown in after the Battle of San Jacinto, the conflict that secured Texas' independence from Mexico in 1836. The siege of the Alamo, one of the most famed events in Texas history, is represented as well, with portraits of such well-known figures as Colonel William Barret Travis, Jim Bowie, and Davey Crockett, shown in the black frock coat and tie he wore as a United States Congressman, rather than the coonskin cap with which he is more commonly associated.
Offered here is the only known surviving preparatory work for this great piece, rendered as a study before the greater work was undertaken. While not the finished work, studies of this type are greatly prized by collectors. This is an unparalleled opportunity to own a unique piece of Early Texas art from the era of the Texas Centennial.
Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000.
Excellent Condition, detailed conservation report by Steven Prins, conservator is available
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