Arts & Equitainment: On the War Trail and Broncho Buster

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On the War Trail and Broncho Buster


Colorado Public Radio tells the interesting story of two iconic sculptures that were finally credited to the artist after nearly a century of anonymity by the city of Denver.

On June 24, 2014 plaques were unveiled acknowledging Alexander Phimister Proctor as the creator of the two sculptures, On the War Trail and Broncho Buster that are featured in Denver’s Civic Park Center.

According to CPR: “Laura Proctor Ames, the great granddaughter of the sculptor and the force behind the attribution campaign, says it’s common for public art from the late 19th and early 20th centuries to lack public attribution.

‘These artists have pieces in some of the most prestigious museums around the world,’ Ames says. ‘Yet they are not attributed publicly on these monuments that are in university campuses and parks.’ ”

Ames goes on to disclose that Proctor was a good friend to his subjects.


“The cowboy atop ‘Broncho Buster’ is a bronzed rendering of a notable Pendleton Rodeo round-up rider named Bill Ridings, who went by ‘Slim.’

Ames says the two were close and Proctor even posted bond for the cattleman in order to finish the piece.

‘While Proctor was modeling and sculpting the ‘Broncho Buster,’ Slim was arrested on a charge of horse thievery and was shipped back to Oregon where he was jailed,’ Ames says. ‘Proctor had to appeal to the sheriff to allow Slim to leave jail so he could finish posing — at least until the sculpture was finished.’ ”

Full story here.

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