Paul Moore is a fifth-generation Oklahoman who has gained national and international recognition with his sculpture. He grew up on stories of his relatives taking part in Oklahoma’s major historical events, such as the Trail of Tears and the Chisholm Trail.
His grandfather grew up next door to Quanah Parker, where Quanah’s youngest wife, Tonarcey, made him baby moccasins at his birth. Over the years, Quanah gave him many gifts including a bear claw necklace and horse hair rope. These stories, as well as a life-changing visit to the then Cowboy Hall of Fame when he was young, influenced and inspired his decision to become a sculptor.
Paul is in constant demand for portrait and monumental commissions, and in the past 40 years has sculpted more than 152 commissions. His work is in the U.S. Capitol Collection, the Brookgreen Gardens Collection, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Numerous municipal, corporate, private, and international institutions also have collected his work.
In addition, Paul has won numerous awards throughout his career including three Anne Marion Best of Show Awards, the Stetson Award, the Ray Swanson Memorial Award, three Gold Medals for Sculpture, and five Silver Medals for Sculpture at the annual Cowboy Artists of America Sale & Exhibition.
Navajo Country was inspired by the layout of comic books with floating storytelling windows and a Route 66 postcard of an old woman watching over her herd of sheep. I wanted to show the vastness of the Navajo Nation and try to combine it all into a bronze composition. I was challenged with the concept of having a relief appear to be floating free and how to support the relief to maintain that illusion. By using the Navajo woman as the support for the relief and the flock of Churro sheep going from a low to high relief, I felt it ties in well with the three dimensional sheep in the foreground.
The Rawhide Sun Visor
The Plains Indians would use a piece of rawhide to wear as a sun visor, much like baseball caps of today. Its simple construction decorated with personal designs. The one used in this sculpture is from the collection of the American Museum of Natural History.
The Wood Gatherers
The wood gatherers have been a profession throughout the Southwest providing wood for the fireplaces of the pueblos since the beginning of their construction. Even today as carts, donkeys, and oxen have been replaced with pickup trucks. Still parked alongside the roadways waiting to sell and deliver their findings to the various individual clients.
Entrance of the Mudheads
For every event at the Hopi Mesas that the sacred clowns, known as Mudheads, would participate, the Mudheads would enter into the ceremony normally from various routes over the rooftops of the pueblos surrounding the plaza to the delight of the spectators, never in a normal simple way. While wearing their masks, with limited vision, it is not always as easy to scale the walls and rooftops as they make it appear. The stylize form in the sculpture represents the adobe structures that they must overcome in every event.
Yaqui Deer Dancer
The Yaqui tribe resides throughout the Southwestern part of the United States and the Northern part of Mexico. The dance symbolizes the struggle between good and evil through a confrontation between the sacred deer and the aggressive coyotes and hunters. Their deer headdress is made up from the Coues deer (small subspecies of the white tail) that live in that region.