Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Presentation of Portrait to Museum, "Native Son"

January was another busy month in my calendar! Parker County Today, a monthly magazine whose founder & editors were part of the Ft. Worth Star Telegram, featured an interesting article in their January issue, entitled "Native Son." It described the portrait of S. W. T. Lanham, former governor of Texas during the years of 1902-07. The local chapter the Sons of Confederate Veterans of Weatherford, Tx commissioned me to do a portrait of him during 2010. The painting was presented to the Doss Heritage Center on January 25, 2011. Doss Heritage & Culture Center is a  museum featuring the history of Parker County, west of  Dallas-Ft. Worth. The following is an excerpt of the article:

"NATIVE SON" by Phil Riddle
For a small town, Weatherford has made quiet an impact in a number of arenas. Mary Martin (Peter Pan) and Larry Hagman are famous actors from the Parker County seat. Former House Speaker Jim Wright got his political start as mayor of Weatherford. And cattlemen Charles Goodnight & Oliver Loving both had ties to this North Texas town. Those people & their contributions are important says Jerry Walden, warning against forgetting another hometown son who made a name for himself. That would be Samuel W. T. Lanham, former Governor of Texas who called Weatherford home.

Walden, commander of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp bearing Lanham's name, decided folks in the former governor's home territory should be reminded of his accomplishments as the state's chief executive. So he commissioned a painting of Lanham, which will be displayed at the Doss Heritage and Culture Center. "I wanted to do something to give back to the community," Walden said.

Walden said the portrait, painted by well-known artist, Vonnie Kohn, will be on loan to the Doss Center, but will also be displayed on a rotation basis to area banks. Kohn, the artist, researched decades of portraits & photos to come up with a composite age-correct portrait of Lanham during his tenure in office at Austin. The traditional portrait included a ghost image of the capital in the background  displaying the American Flag and the Flag of the Lone Star State.

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