San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 10th, 2011
Historical Commission to screen Buck Winn documentary in Kyle


The Hays County Historical Commission will screen its documentary on the life and work of Wimberley artist Buck Winn at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Old Kyle City Hall.

Buck Winn at work in 1945. COURTESY PHOTO

This will be the third public presentation of “Larger than Life: the Story of Buck Winn.” The screening is free and open to the public. James Buchanan “Buck” Winn, Jr. (1905-1979) was an internationally recognized painter, sculptor, inventor, muralist, and architectural artist. From the 1930’s to the 1970’s, Winn was among the most highly-recognized artists of the Southwest, with such large-scale contributions as frieze work at the Texas Centennial Grounds in Dallas and a 280-foot canvas mural on the history of cattle ranching—at one time the largest in the world—painted for the Pearl Brewery in San Antonio in 1950.

In all, Winn completed more than 50 projects, many of which were the first of their kind in material usage and in scale. Winn’s works can still be found in bank buildings, libraries, theaters, and on university campuses throughout the region, although a number of his large public works have been lost as buildings were demolished to make way for new development.

Winn’s extant work in Hays County includes the architectural Morning Glory sculptures at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos; the carved ceramic-and-glass bas-relief on the side of Flowers Hall at Texas State University, and some recently restored panels from the Pearl Brewery mural now on display at the Wimberley Community Center.

Winn’s other accomplishments include lecturing on architecture at the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Princeton, California and Rice. He also designed the U.S. postage stamp commemorating Texas statehood.

The documentary was directed by Historical Commission member Richard Kidd and produced by Kate Johnson, chair of the commission. During production, Kidd visited 18 locations and interviewed 8 individuals who had known and worked with Winn. Music was provided by James Dick, Eugene Rowley and The Miro Quartet. The documentary is is the first complete coverage of Winn’s major work.

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