Proctor at the Tacoma Art Museum


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More exposure for Proctor is coming to the Pacific Northwest. On November 15th, the Tacoma Art Museum will open the Haub Family Gallery, a collection of Western American art from over 140 artists, including five Proctor sculptures: the Stalking Panther; Pony Express; Pursued; Buckaroo; and Indian Warrior.

The Haub collection is regarded as one of the top Western American art collections in the country, an ideal home for Proctor’s iconic Western sculptures. Featuring artworks from 1797 through today, the exhibition spans more than 200 years of work displaying the various ways in which historic artists depicted the culture and lifestyle of the American West, as well as its modern day influence. Similar and contrasting ideas of the West are shown through the various images of cowboys, Native Americans, wildlife, landscape, and more.

“It is exciting to see Proctor artworks more predominately displayed in the region where he spent so much of his lifetime,” commented Laura Proctor Ames, Director, A. Phimister Proctor Foundation and Museum. “We’re honored that Proctor’s work is a part of this important collection, bringing the history and stories of the American West to life, in the Pacific Northwest.”

Proctor can also be seen parading through downtown Tacoma on the side of the Tacoma Link, thanks to museum promotional efforts.

Photograph by Peter Raffa, Development Director, Tacoma Art Museum

Photograph by Peter Raffa, Development Director, Tacoma Art Museum

Also showcased in the collection with Proctor are works by many other master artists from his time, including Charles Russell, Henry Shrady, Paul Manship, and Frederick Remington. All of these sculptors have become staples in the realm of Western American art. Laura Fry, Haub Curator of Western American Art at the Tacoma Art Museum, brings extensive experience to the show, and worked to assemble the exhibition to curate the important art while showing the colorful history of the American West.

You can visit for more information on the Tacoma Art Museum, and the Haub Family Galleries. The Galleries open on November 15th and the exhibition will run through Fall of 2015.

The Tacoma Art Museum is located at 1701 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, WA.

Metallurgic Testing Project


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During the past four months, the Proctor Museum has been conducting extensive metallurgic testing on Proctor bronzes across the country. To date, more than 75 bronzes have been tested at five major museums, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Denver Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and the Gilcrease Museum. We have also tested all bronzes at the Proctor Museum, along with many from private collections.

Working with Dr. Bruce Kaiser, chief scientist at Bruker Corp., we use a handheld device called the Tracer to collect the data. Although it looks a bit like a weapon from a Star Trek movie, the Tracer employs X-ray florescent (XRF) technology to collect the metal content of the bronze, without harming the artwork in any way. Dr. Kaiser works with museums and universities across the country, supporting research of art and historical artifacts.

The data collected from the metallurgic testing allows us to analyze each bronze by its alloy content. This data can help determine when the bronze was cast, the foundry it came from, and casting methods. Comparing a large sample of data allows us to find patterns among the metallurgic content of Proctor bronzes.

Metallurgic testing also has given us the opportunity to physically inspect the Proctor bronzes. We have been able to fill in missing details in our records, as well as discover physical patterns among foundries and casting dates.

The Proctor Museum will be traveling to the Brooklyn Museum in the near future for final testing of Proctor bronzes. With the help of Dr. Kaiser, we will complete the research with a detailed report allowing us to analyze all data collected as a whole.

Watch for some exciting findings from this project!

Ann Boulton of the Gilcrease Museum (front) tests a Proctor bronze while Mike Burks (left), Bruce Kaiser (center), and Bob Pickering (right) observe and record results

Ann Boulton of the Gilcrease Museum (front) tests a Proctor bronze while Mike Burks (left), Bruce Kaiser (center), and Bob Pickering (right) observe and record results

Phimister Proctor "Sandy" Church tests the Pioneer Mother at the Denver Art Museum

Phimister Proctor “Sandy” Church tests the Pioneer Mother at the Denver Art Museum


Proctor's Buckaroo is tested by staff at the Denver Art Museum. The monumental version of the Buckaroo, the Broncho Buster (seen in background), is located just outside the Denver Art Museum

Proctor’s Buckaroo is tested by staff at the Denver Art Museum. The monumental version of the Buckaroo, the Broncho Buster (seen in background), is located just outside the Denver Art Museum

Testing of Proctor bronzes at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Testing of Proctor bronzes at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Graffiti removed from Q. Street Buffalo


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Small graffiti marks were recently removed from one of Proctor’s Q. Street Buffalos on the Dumbarton Bridge in Washington, D.C.

The Proctor Foundation submitted a service request to the D.C. Department of Transportation after hearing of the defacement from a local D.C. resident.

Benjamin Bogin is a professor of Theology at nearby Georgetown University, and passes the Q. Street Buffalos on his walk to work. After noticing several graffiti marks on the face of one Buffalo, Bogin contacted the foundation last winter to report the damage. The graffiti marks have since been removed.

Bogin is just one example of the appreciation felt by local residents toward Proctor’s work. We are always grateful to those who show care and interest in Proctor’s monuments.

“Your great-grandfather’s buffaloes have become wonderful acquaintances,” Bogin told director Laura Ames, “and through them I have come to be a great admirer of Alexander Phimster Proctor.”

If you live in the area of one of Proctor’s monumental sculptures and have noticed any defacement, please contact Laura Ames at The Proctor Foundation.

Q Street Buffalo Photograph by Benjamin Bogin

Q Street Buffalo
Photograph by Benjamin Bogin

Q Street Buffalo, after cleaning Photograph by Benjamin Bogin

Q Street Buffalo, after cleaning
Photograph by Benjamin Bogin




Proctor’s Pioneer Mother Undergoes Conservation


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The Pioneer Mother memorial in Kansas City, MO, received a cleaning and new wax coat last weekend. The work was completed by professional conservator Jonathan Taggart.

Taggart, who also performed a cleaning on the sculpture in 2007, washed the bronze surface with a non-ionic detergent, and then applied two coats of hard sculpture wax. The wax shields the sculpture against weathering and can also be removed for cleaning purposes.

The mortar joints in the sculpture’s base were also inspected and repointed as needed with a specially designed mortar.

The Proctor Foundation works with local groups and communities to support the maintenance and conservation of Proctor’s 27 public sculptures. These monuments are located across the country in parks and plazas, and on city streets and university campuses such as Princeton and the University of Texas, Austin.

Below are several photos of the sculpture during and after conservation, provided by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department.





“The American West in Bronze” moves to Denver


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Proctor's "Indian Warrior" is one of seven bronzes on display in "The American West in Bronze" exhibition

Proctor’s “Indian Warrior” is one of seven bronzes on display in “The American West in Bronze” exhibition

After four months at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925” is moving to the Denver Art Museum.

The arrival of the exhibition serves as a sort of homecoming for Proctor, who spent much of his childhood in Denver. It was within the Rocky Mountains that Proctor began to seriously pursue his artistic talent.

Nicole Parks, Curatorial Assistant for the Petrie Institute of Western American Art, says staff are not only excited about the exhibition, but also the opportunity to educate and provide tools to visitors that may allow them to appreciate bronze sculpture more fully.

“I have heard people mention that our visitors have a mentality that sculpture is something people bump into when backing up to see a painting,” she says.

“We hope this might change with an exhibition like this.”

The exhibition, which features seven Proctor sculptures, opens May 11th inside of the Hamilton Building.

Also present in Denver are two monumental sculptures done by Proctor: “Broncho Buster” and “On The War Trail.” Both are located in Civic Center, right outside of the Denver Art Museum.

Seattle Art Museum’s Patricia Junker to speak on Proctor’s “Buckaroo.”

This Wednesday, March 19, Patricia Junker of the Seattle Art Museum will be holding a lecture on Alexander Proctor’s “Buckaroo,” as well as various other iconic sculptures by Proctor.

The lecture will be held in the Plestcheef Auditorium inside the Seattle Art Museum and will begin at 7:00 P.M. Tickets can be purchased on site, online, or by calling (206) 654-3210.

 Entry to the lecture will be through the 1st Avenue and University Street entrance.

 Come join in the fun! 


“The American West In Bronze” In Full Swing


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The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “The American West In Bronze, 1850-1925” exhibition has been active for over a month now. The exhibition captures the American West through iconic bronze sculptures, including seven Proctor sculptures. 

Shannon Vittoria, the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow of the American Wing, along with Thayer Tolles, the Marcia F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, have created a blog to supplement and highlight the many facets of the exhibition, including its physical design and a behind-the-scenes look at the audio guide available to visitors. The blog provides added insight into the narrative of the exhibition. 

You can explore the blog here

Proctor bronzes to be featured in “American West in Bronze” exhibition at Metropolitan Museum of Art


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Several Proctor bronzes will be on display in the upcoming exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition is called “The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925,” and features sixty-five sculptures that are iconic of the “Old West” lifestyle.

From cowboys to wildlife to American Indians, sculptors embraced the turn of the century culture through their artwork. These pieces have become quintessential to most people’s perception of the American West. Proctor was well known in this field with such pieces as “Buckaroo” and “Indian Warrior, ” just to name a few.

There will be four categories within the exhibition: the American Indian, wildlife, the cowboy, and the settler. At least one Proctor bronze will be featured in each of these categories.

A total of twenty-eight artists make up the traveling exhibition, which will start at the MET on December 18, 2013, and leave April 13, 2014. The exhibition will then move to the Denver Art Museum from May 9 – August 31, 2014, and finally end at the Nanjing Museum in China, September 29, 2014 – January 18, 2015.

For more, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website:

Seattle Art Museum conducts metallurgic testing on Proctor sculptures


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Members of the Seattle Art Museum traveled to the Proctor Museum on May 28th to conduct metallurgic testing on several Proctor sculptures, including the Stalking Panther, Buckaroo, Q Street Buffalo, Elk, and Indian Warrior.

The testing takes measurements from several different points on each bronze using an XRF metal analyzer. The results show which types of metals are in each piece, and the quantities of those metals. This information is useful in determining the foundry of a piece and the approximate time period during which it was cast.

The Proctor Foundation is thrilled to have this information for our records, and we are grateful to the Seattle Art Museum for their time and effort.

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Proctor’s Rough Rider Monument, Home in Oyster Bay, NY


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The 12-foot Rough Rider bronze was moved to its permanent location, situated at the entrance to the hamlet of Oyster Bay near Roosevelt’s historic family home and summer White House.

The Rotary Foundation of Oyster Bay raised the funds to purchase the monument complimenting the area’s extensive tribute to Roosevelt. The town dedicated the Rough Rider monument in grand style on October 30, 2010. A large crowd watched as a Navel Honor Guard from the USS Theodore Roosevelt Aircraft Carrier raised a special flag designed for the occasion.

The bronze monument was cast from a mold from the original 1920 plaster, created by Alexander Phimister Proctor. The original plaster has been donated to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY.