In this issue, we tell the stories behind some of Oklahoma’s most iconic images. Mark Brown writes of James Earle Fraser’s journey to The End of the Trail, James McGirk takes art lessons from Muskogee’s Bacone College, and Tony Beaulieu resurrects the Tulsa Driller’s forgotten designer. We’ve also got poetry, stunning photographs of Oklahoma’s most beloved icons, and more.
Here’s a preview:
THE INDIAN OF THEIR DREAMS: Mark Brown cracks the surface of one of the most recognizable sculptures of Western art, The End of the Trail. This rendering of a Native slumped on his exhausted horse had to roam the country for years before finally arriving in Oklahoma City, and how it got here was an odyssey of chutzpah and horse-trading.
BEAUTY, PURPOSE, AND PRESERVATION: James McGirk traces the stylistic evolution of Native American art through the history of Bacone College.
MEMOIRS OF A PIONEER TEACHER: Harriet Patrick Gilstrap reminisces on her career as a teacher in territorial Oklahoma and recounts tales of bedbugs, land runs, and the greatest athlete who ever lived.
THE GOLDEN IDOL OF OIL: Tulsa’s giant Driller, with his wide shoulders, chiseled musculature, and stoic gaze, has kept watch over the city since the 1960s. Tony Beaulieu has the story of this unique structure’s nearly forgotten designer.
LOVE SMELLS OF A MAN NAMED FLOYD: A new poem by Jennifer E. Hudgens.
ORIGINAL OKIE: CJ Wells is a craftsman and poet.