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



The Hays County Historical Commission will screen its documentary on the life and work of Wimberley artist Buck Winn at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 at the San Marcos Public Library.

This presentation of Larger than Life: the Story of Buck Winn 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. His extant work in Hays County includes the carved ceramic-and-glass bas-relief on the side of Flowers Hall at Texas State University and some restored panels from a mural on the history of cattle ranching now on display at the Wimberley Community Center.

Buck Winn’s Morning Glory sculptures being airlifted from Aquarena Springs in August 2011. FILE PHOTO

Winn’s architectural Morning Glory sculptures, originally installed in 1963 at Aquarena Springs in San Marcos, were moved from that site in August 2011 to the Winn family ranch in Wimberley.

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.

The Larger Than Life 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 eight individuals who had known and worked with Winn. Music was provided by James Dick, Eugene Rowley and The Miro Quartet. The documentary is the first complete coverage of Winn’s major work.

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