Elizabet Ney McDonald was a prolific sculptor who lived in Texas for much of her career. She was born in Münster, Westphalia, Germany in 1833 and when she was sixteen, she was enrolled in Berlin Academy where she studied under a famous sculptor named Rauch. Her family ancestry was Polish and she was said to be the grand niece of Marshal Michel Ney, the favorite field marshal of Napoleon Bonaparte. Marshal Ney was captured in Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo after which he was sentenced to be executed. Accounts refer to her ancestry as having initially been a detriment to her initial acceptance. However, she became the first (and at least for many years, the only) female to complete studies at the Art Academy of Munich.Continue reading Elizabet Ney
Allie Victoria Tennant was born around 1890 according to the 1900 Federal census. Her father was Thomas Richard Tennant and her mother was the former Allie Victoria (or Virginia) Brown. The family was living in St. Louis, Missouri in 1900 and her father was the general manager of a coal company. Allie was the only daughter among five siblings. By the time the 1910 Federal census was taken, the family was living in Dallas and her age was listed as 11. This probably gave rise to a different year of birth being used for her, 1898, though her death certificate used June 28, 1898 as her date of birth. Her father’s profession by then was listed as being an accountant for a manufacturing company. By 1920 her father had passed away the year before, and she was living with her mother and three of her brothers in Dallas.Continue reading Allie Victoria Tennant
Dirk West was a cartoonist and illustrator whose name was well known to those who followed the old Southwest and Big 12 conferences in sports. Gerald Glynn “Dirk” West was born October 23, 1928 in Littlefield, Texas to James Marion and Ethel Raye Bennett West. The family moved to Lubbock shortly after he was born, so West grew up there and graduated from Lubbock High School, where he began drawing cartoons for the school newspaper, Westerner World.
This coming weekend will mark the anniversary of San Jacinto Day. In our mind’s eye, we can envision what that may have looked like, especially after visiting the San Jacinto Monument. Some will also think of Henry Huddle. His name may not be too familiar to many Texans, but most likely just about everyone might recognize at least one of his works. San Jacinto Day is drawing near, and the painting called “The Surrender of Santa Anna” (pictured below) commemorates the famous battle.
Henry Arthur “Harry” McArdle was an American artist who painted historical scenes of particular interest to Texans. Since two of his works now hang in the Texas Capitol Building, some have probably seen examples of his work without knowing the name of the artist.