Enrique Alférez

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Enrique Alférez
BornMay 4, 1901
San Miguel del Mezquital (now Miguel Auza), Mexico
DiedSeptember 14, 1999 (aged 98)
Alma materSchool of the Art Institute of Chicago
StyleArt Deco
ChildrenTlaloc S. Alférez
"Fountain of the Winds", detail, New Orleans Lakefront Airport, 1937
Aluminum grill in the transom of the main entrance of Charity hospital

Enrique Alférez (1901–1999) was a Mexican artist who specialized in sculpting architectural reliefs and the human form.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in a rural village in northern Mexico, Alférez was introduced to sculpture by his father, a woodworker who was trained . He ran away at age 12, and was conscripted into the Constitutional Army during the Mexican Revolution. In 1920, he fled his home country and made his way to El Paso, Texas, where he found work as a photographer's assistant. It was here he attended a lecture presented by art teacher Lorado Taft, who was visiting El Paso on an Art Institute of Chicago tour. Seeing potential in the young man, Taft encouraged Alferez to come study under him in Chicago, which he did from 1927 through 1929.[1]


After completing his education in 1929, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he spent much of the rest of his life. He later married an American woman named Margaret, with whom he had a daughter.[2]

His sculptures and reliefs adorn many parks, buildings, and landmarks in the New Orleans Metropolitan Area, many of them commissioned by the Works Progress Administration. Some of the most notable include those in City Park, as well as the "Molly Marine" statue, the first American sculpture to depict a woman in military uniform.[3][4] His fountain at New Orleans Lakefront Airport is a well known local landmark. He made reliefs for a number of buildings, including the Charity Hospital Building[5][6] in New Orleans and the Palmolive Building in Chicago.

Alférez was not only a sculptor, and actively produced work in other artistic disciplines. Notably, he painted an official portrait of Senator Huey P. Long (who he personally loathed, as he revealed decades later).

Alférez remained active into his later years, both as a working artist and an art teacher. In 1993, he appeared in a PBS American Experience documentary entitled "The Hunt for Pancho Villa".

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, Steve. "Story of Mexican art in Chicago is the story of Chicago art". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-04-15.
  2. ^ "Dr. Tlaloc Alferez-Top Female Achiever". Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  3. ^ "Women Marines: The Origin of Molly Marine | Semper Fi Parents". Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  4. ^ "Molly Marine". Women Marines Association.
  5. ^ "Nude women sculptures now in City Park's beautiful new sculpture garden". WGNO. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  6. ^ Leighninger, Robert. "Big Charity: The History of Charity Hospital". 64parishes.org. Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Retrieved 30 November 2020.