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Gift of A. Phimister Proctor Museum with special thanks to Sandy and Sally Church
Proctor's monumental sculpture of Theodore Roosevelt embodies the honor and spirit of man and horse. Modeled and dedicated after the former president's life, the sculpture contributed to Proctor's national recognition as an artist.
The grandson of Proctor found this life-size plaster cast of the sculpture in the North Dakota Historical Society, where it had been placed in the early 1920s. Newly restored, the plaster provides insight into the complicated process of creating a monumental sculpture. Fifteen plaster pieces formed the final working model before the sculpture was cast into bronze. Note the steel and plaster frame on the inside of the horse's body (just the rear of the horse weighs over 500 pounds!).
Assistants helped Proctor enlarge the sculpture from a small version (seen left) to a medium version, to the final larger-than-life-size clay version. The sculptor added details and refined the work at each stage.
Proctor had close associations with Roosevelt in his lifetime and created two sculptures for the State Dining Room at the White House while Roosevelt was president. After Roosevelt died, Proctor reminisced, "I recalled the pangs I had felt when he organized the Rough Riders. . . If I had not had a young wife and a newborn baby, I would certainly have joined him."