Thursday, March 10, 2011

Las Colinas, Irving Texas

Las Colinas, touted by some as one of America's most important business centers, is located within the city of Irving, Texas ( that city is located west of Dallas). The visionary who built Las Colinas was Ben Carpenter; in 1973 he unveiled his plans for the business district. The seed for Las Colinas was his family's ranch, El Rancho de las Colinas- the little ranch in the hills, located close to this area. We drove there to see the sculptures of the mustangs, located on the granite Williams Plaza in Las Colinas.
Looking at those horses I could not help but get a feeling of their speed and strength. The artist, Kenyan- born Robert Glen, collaborated with Ben Carpenter on their creation and placement in Las Colinas. The artist started the process by studying the mustangs in Spain. Glen then returned to Africa to begin the sculpting of the horses. He subsequently flew the nine horses to a foundry in England where the bronze molds were poured. By the early 1980s the sculptures were ready for unveiling in Las Colinas. In the office building behind the sculptures we toured an art gallery which had more of Glen's artwork. Most the subjects of his sculptures are of the wildlife and natives of Africa, beautiful pieces indeed. Glen returns to this art gallery about once a year. He also did a sculpture of Ben Carpenter, which is located in another area of Las Colinas.
Near Carpenter's statue are located the Bluebonnet Hill Cows. They are five cows scattered over a hill, each one made of a different type of marble. The artist is Harold F. Clayton.
From Las Colinas we drove to the National Scouting Museum which is located in Irving. John had been a scoutmaster and I had been a cub scout leader so we had some interest in the museum. However, our main goal in seeing that museum was to see the world's largest collection of original Norman Rockwell scouting art.
The artist's connection with scouting spanned some 64 years. He was art director for the scouting magazine Boy's Life for many of those years. Rockwell defined scouting, as well as the American life, during the mid-20th century. His last painting for the scouts was done in 1976 (he died in 1978).

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