The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo last Thursday approved the sale of its 18-ft.-tall painted but weathered bronze statue of Chief ‘Touch the Clouds’ from outside the Reliant Arena to an Oklahoma City suburb — for $50,000. The statue of the Miniconjou chief, who fought alongside his cousin Crazy Horse at the Battle of Little Big Horn, was donated to the Rodeo 16 years ago by its sculptor, Dave McGary. Reports that the Rodeo was looking to offload the sculpture from its perch about 300 yards southeast of the Astrodome surfaced late last year, a few months after McGary died of liver cancer.
Art enthusiast and former Edmond mayor Randel Shadid explains to an Oklahoma news outlet the deal his city will be getting: The sculpture of the Great Plains chief alone, in its current “worn, but otherwise in good shape” condition, he says, is worth $150,000. Moving the statue to Edmond should cost $40,000 by Shadid’s estimate, and another $25,000 would pay for refurbishing it — which the operators of McGary’s sculpture studio in Ruidoso, New Mexico, have offered to do. Grand total: “Shadid estimates that the sculpture’s worth could jump to $400,000 to $500,000 if the faded patina on the sculpture is redone.” Edmond’s city council voted last year to pay up to $90,000 to buy and transport the 20,000-lb. bronze artwork, to a yet-to-be-determined municipal location. When it’s taken from Houston, likely in April, it’ll be extricated from its larger and heavier granite base.
- Edmond buys large artwork from Houston rodeo group [NewsOK]
- Towering statue at Reliant sold to small town in Oklahoma [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: Unloved Astrodome Statue of Chief Crazy Horse’s Cousin Moving to Oklahoma