Robert Summers (artist)

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For other people named Robert Summers, see Robert Summers (disambiguation).

Robert Temple Summers II, is an American artist, (born August 13, 1940) in Cleburne, Texas. Summers, who works as a painter and sculptor, has created prominent bronze works displayed in places such as the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame Museum, the Dallas Pioneer Park[1] the Loews Anatole Hotel, Fair Park, Los Angeles International Airport, and Plano Texas' Baccus Plaza .[2]

Summers' studio website,[3] states that Summers has had "no formal art training, save a short course in mixing colors at age 15.[4] He began to explore art as a profession in 1964. His paintings include works in various mediums including; egg and acrylic tempera, oil, dry-brush watercolor, pastel, and pencil. His sculptures have included wax and clay, and currently divides his time between painting and sculpting. He describes his flat work as "painterly[5]

Summers resides in his boyhood home of Glen Rose, Texas with his wife Boo, two of their three sons work with him. Among his associations, Robert serves as Associate Director of the Creation Evidence Museum[6] and has traveled to Turkey and New Guinea on archaeological expeditions in that capacity.[7] Summers also plays bagpipes, practices falconry, sings Contemporary Christian music, and has played lead roles in several professional productions. Much of his Western art demonstrates his love of wildlife and the cowboy spirit of the small Texas town.

Awards and Credits[edit]

Awarded the Acrylic Division Award in 1972 by the American Artist Professional League.

In 1973 Summers helped organize the Texas Association of Professional Artists and served as their first president.

July 4, 1975 when Governor Dolph Briscoe and the Texas Legislature named him as the Official Texas Bicentennial Artist.

On July 4, 1975 he was presented the American Airlines' Americana Award for Art, presented by Randy Steffen.

Selected nationally by the Franklin Mint as one of ten Gold Medal Award winners during the mint's introduction into fine art reproductions.

In 1976 was awarded with the Cultural Achievement Award for Art by the West Texas Chamber of Commerce.

During the Texas Association of Professional Artists awards banquet Summers received 6 of a possible 11 medals. His painting, "Forbidden Wilderness", took First Place for Best Oil, Best in Show, Most Popular (voted on by guest) and the T.A.P.A. Membership Award.

In both 1977 and 78 annual T.A.P.A. shows Summers was awarded with the Gold Medal for Best Oil.

Recipient of the Randy Steffen Annual Award on July 4, 1981.

Named as the Official Sesquicentennial Artist of Texas by the 69th Texas Legislature in July 1987.

In 1995 Summers was named Most Favorite Son by the Glen Rose/Somervell County Chamber of Commerce.

Named Western Artist of the Year for 2003 by the Academy of Western Art.

Major works[edit]

Created a life-size, standing figure of a Texas Ranger which is on display at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame in Waco, Texas.

Main entrance to the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas. The statue is of Major B. George Erath, Texas Ranger and surveyor of the Waco townsite.

Created a larger-than-life, standing figure of Texas pioneer, Major George B. Erath, also on display at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.


Commissioned to sculpt the nine-foot-tall statue of John Wayne for the John Wayne Airport in Orange County California in October 1980. During the project Summers worked closely with the Wayne family, after which Patrick Wayne commented, "this is the first time I have seen my father since he died".

In May 1985, the 69th Texas Legislature passed House Bill #33 approving the placement of a monumental bronze by Robert Summers on the Capitol Grounds in Austin (this being the first sculpture approved for placement on the grounds for nearly 100 years). At present the project is still under consideration and work has not begun.

In 1987, Summers completed a three-quarter life-size version of "Texas Legacy" (the above mentioned monument). The sculpture measures 20'x12'x7' and depicts two cowboys on horseback leading seven Longhorn cattle over a rail-road crossing and is on display at the main entrance of the Astro Hall at the Astro Domain in Houston, Texas.

In 1990, commissioned by the United States Navy Memorial Foundation to sculpt three large bas-relief bronzes showing various historical events and duties of the United States Navy and Coast Guard. The bas-relieves are part of the United States Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C.

In February 1992 work was completed on a nine-foot statue of golf legend Byron Nelson. Commissioned by the U.S.A.A., the bronze is prominently located near the first tee at the TPC course at the Four Seasons Resort and Club at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas.

In November 1992 Summers began work on the largest arrangement of bronze statues in North America. A brain-child of real-estate magnate Trammell Crow and commissioned by Dallas Trees and Parks Foundation, the project contains three cowboys on horseback and 40+ Longhorn steers in Pioneer Plaza, each piece being 130% life size. 30 additional steers will eventually be installed. The bronze trail drive covers 4 acres (16,000 m2) in downtown Dallas adjacent to the Dallas Convention Center. This project was a break-through in that the artist designed both the sculptures as well as the landscaping. It is internationally known and the most photographed landmark in Dallas.

In 1996 Summers finished three 130% life-size monuments of three prominent Dallas citizens including; Trammell Crow, on display at the Anatole Hotel, and Tom Hughes, former Director of the Dallas Summer Musicals, on display in at the Music Hall at Fair Park, in Dallas, Texas.

He was commissioned by [Newmark Publishing] in Louisville, Kentucky to complete a series of Civil War paintings covering the “Peninsula Campaign”, the lithographs of which quickly became sought after by collectors.

In early 1999, Summers was commissioned to sculpt a 150% life-size monumental portrait of American cattleman John Chisum by the John Chisum Memorial Foundation in Roswell, New Mexico. The monument contains a rider on horseback and one Longhorn steer. It was installed adjacent to the Chaves County Court House in Roswell on the 24th of March 2001.

After completion of the John Chisum sculpture for Roswell, the neighboring city of Artesia asked Summers to sculpt a twice life sized sculpture of John Chisum’s niece, Sally Chisum. Dedicated on the 26th of July 2001, the 11-foot-tall (3.4 m) sculpture of Sally stands as she reads to two children, as a welcomed addition to Artesia’s Main Street Project.

Soon after the installment of “Sally”, Artesia again called upon Summers to represent Mary and Martin Yates, founders of Yates Petroleum. This 125% monument is currently installed and awaits the arrival (completion) of their partner “Van Welch” also in 125% scale, which was subsequently commissioned to be an addition to the composition.

In 2007, Summers completed a bronze statue titled "The First Family of Glen Rose", depicting Charles and Juana Cavasos Barnard, early settlers of Glen Rose, TX. It is displayed in front of the Sommervell County court house in Glen Rose.[8]

Footnotes[edit]

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