The National Ranching Heritage Center dedicated three sculptures and two rooms Saturday afternoon. The additions to the NRHC were initiated as part of the master plan for the museum and historical park and made possible through individuals and foundation support.
The dedications included two life-size bronze steer sculptures, one given by Rich and Barbara Anderson of Gail, Texas, and the other by Patty and K.W. Kirkpatrick and Zoe and Jack Kirkpatrick of Post, Texas, and their families. Totaling 16 now, the bronze steers commemorate the Trail Drive Era of the 1860s to 1880s.
Also dedicated was an 18-foot, carved granite windmill created by prominent artist Jesus Moroles of Rockport, Texas. The piece was set at the front of J.J. Gibson Memorial Park and underwritten by rancher Ruth Lowrance of San Antonio.
"This is the 29th piece of outdoor art permanently displayed on the NRHC museum grounds," NRHC Executive Director Jim Pfluger said.
"The Heritage Center has one of the largest collections of outdoor, public art in West Texas," Pfluger added.
Inside the DeVitt-Mallet Museum Building, the John R. "Rich" Anderson Room honors long-time Ranching Heritage Association leader Rich Anderson of Gail, Texas. The public meeting room opens onto a terraced patio and has ADA-compliant restrooms and an adjoining kitchen prep area. The room was made possible by donations from Anderson's family and friends.
The Burk Burnett Library and Reading Room in the west wing of the NRHC museum is comprised of three individual spaces - a library, combination conference/reading area and a small kitchen which can be used by caterers. The area was underwritten by Anne W. Marion and named for her great-grandfather, rancher, oilman and businessman Samuel Burk Burnett.
"I am pleased at the great response from our supporters and the public to enhance the NRHC facilities both inside and outside the museum," Pfluger said.
"The library and meeting room have been long-needed areas for us as a museum. The bronze steers and granite windmill are a symbolic tribute to the resources ranchers used to create the heritage we preserve at the NRHC," Pfluger added.
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