Dave McGary (sculptor) (1958-2013)

Dave McGary (sculptor) (1958-2013)

The Providers Buffalo (study)
Bronze with Patina and Paint
15 x 0 in
Price On Request
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Born on the plains of Northwestern Wyoming at the edge of Yellowstone National Park, Dave McGary grew up with an understanding of the importance of the buffalo to the Native Americans. In the early 1800s enormous herds of buffalo roamed the plains rumbling across the land. During trips to the reservation, McGary heard stories of the buffalo and histories shared of the preparation and skills of the hunters. Twelve years in ideation and requiring six months to sculpt, The Providers shares the intensity of the chase as the mounted hunters with the herd just moments before weapons find their mark. Native Americans of the plains moved with the buffalo, many considered him sacred. As the ground thawed and the warmth returned, they prepared for the buffalo hunt. In the minds of the Plains Indians of 1750 - 1875, the classic buffalo hunt was the summer chase. Only the bulls were the target, the buffalo cows and the young were spared. Hunting them was close to warfare in its demands upon horsemanship and courage. To be included in the hunt was an honor for a young man, to not only provide for his own family but also for the less fortunate within the community. The hunt was a proving ground for the young. Bravery, horsemanship and weapon skills were tested in the danger of the stampede. Consider that the hunter holds in his hands his bow and arrow requiring expert horsemanship to guide his horse with only his knees. This horse is a prized possession protected for his ability to respond both during the hunt and in battle. Valued so highly, horses were tied to shelters in the evening, so that their whereabouts were always known. Like its rider, the horse wears the markings of its achievements and paint specific for the hunt; the lightning bolt for speed and star painted around the eyes to enhance the vision of the horse. Honor feathers of eagle, owl and red tailed hawk, recognizing the worth and abilities of the horse are braided into its mane and tail. Unlike the dress for battle with the enemy, the clothing of the hunter was very simple, stripped to the minimum to reduce their weight, free their movements and avoid tangling with the huge animals. The hunter wears leggings, showing coup marks or illustrations of his hunt or battle achievements. The re-curved bow for the buffalo hunt was designed for increased power, to offer the ability of the arrow to pierce completely through the animal. These prized bows were made of rare Osage Orangewood, available in limited quantities only through trade; rawhide with beadwork forming the grip of the handle and a bowstring made of sinew twisted and stretched.The buffalo hunt became the focus of the community. In preparation, families gathered for dances and ceremonies, with members participating in buffalo masks and headdresses. The hunt extended for days until the needs of the community were met and then great celebrations occurred. The buffalo used for the models in the bronze are descendants of the bison that were hunted in the Northern Plains by the Lakota (Sioux). These buffalo currently roam the Custer National Park in South Dakota. Bison can weigh as mush as 2,000 pounds. The earth literally shook as the buffalo thundered over it and few horses could match their speed. Charging bulls were described as "blind fury," a vivid description of an animal with poor eyesight but great strength, tenacity and agility. Every part of the buffalo, or "tatanka" as the Lakota called them, supported the families. The meat of the animal was eaten, some immediately and some worked into pemmican or jerky. The hides of these buffalo became moccasins, cradles, winter robes, leggings, dresses, belts, bags, and dolls. Rawhide was used in cinches, drums, ropes, thongs, and saddles. The hair can be found in headdresses, halters and saddle pads. Horns were fashioned into cups, powderhorns, spoons and toys. The tail could be used as a switch or whip. Hooves and feet became glue or a rattle. Pouches and medicine bags were made of the animals bladder. Bones carved into knives.


About The Artist

Dave McGary (sculptor) (1958-2013)

"Amazing," "astounding," and "unbelievable detail," are some of the most frequent first words heard when people view renown artist Dave McGary's bronze sculptures of Native Americans.  The works are masterpieces of anatomical and historic accuracy.  They are also based upon real persons of American history.  They are collected by individuals, corporations and institutions on a worldwide basis.  
 
Dave McGary was raised on a cattle ranch in Wyoming.  His art career began early in life.  At 12, he sculpted in clay.  At 16, he received a scholarship to spend a year in Italy studying the human form and the art of bronze casting.  Shortly after his return to the U.S., Dave began working at a Santa Fe foundry, and began a friendship with a Sioux artist that contributed significantly to Dave's interest in sculpting the American Indian.  Subsequently, Dave was adopted into the Ogala Sioux tribe and given the name Wambalee Tanka, "Big Eagle." But his adopted family on the reservation are more likely to refer to him as "Big Red Ears" because of his predilection for soaking up tales of their ancestors.  A McGary bronze is a unique combination of pure American West and classic Renaissance art form of Italy.  
 
Each work contains many elements of historical authenticity, emotion, artistic skill and bronze casting technology. This special combination has been recognized through the placement of works at a wide variety of governmental and corporate locations.  Each year, Dave receives numerous requests to execute commissions -- most of which he must turn down due to his schedule and family life (he, his wife Molly and their child divide time between homes in New Mexico and Arizona).  
 
Among the permanent public installations is one that may be seen in Santa Fe's Grant Park.  The 14-foot-high work depicts Don Pedro de Peralta and his surveyor as they lay out early Santa Fe. The artist has also been exhibited in a One-man Show at the Russell Senate Rotunda in Washington D.C.   
 
Meyer Gallery is pleased to display the magnificent bronzes of renown sculptor Dave McGary.

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