Gallery Artists > Harold Holden Biography :

Harold Holden (b. 1940)  Artworks >>

Harold T. Holden, or "H" as he is called by many, was born in Enid, Oklahoma. Although "H" was the first professional fine artist in the family, he comes from a family of creative and talented inventors and engineers. In 1915, his great-grandfather George Failing invented the machine that creates the bottle cap that is still used on beverages today. His grandfather, oil pioneer George E. Failing, invented the first portable drilling rig, as well as numerous drilling bits, still used in the industry today. "H" credits his love of horses to his father who was an avid horseman. After graduating from Enid High School, "H" attended Oklahoma State University and graduated from the Texas Academy of Art in Houston. He then began his art career in the commercial art field, working in Wichita, Kansas and in Houston, Texas, and eventually took the position of art director at Horseman Magazine. While working during the day for other folks, "H" began his fine art career at night, painting and sculpting his first love, the West. After a tour of duty with the Navy in the Vietnam War, "H" ventured out on his own in 1973, to try and make it as a professional fine artist. Commissions from the National Cattlemen's Association in 1982-1986 helped, and collectors began taking notice of his work. "H" is a member of the Texas Cowboy Artists Association (TCA) and the National Western Artists Association and has received numerous gold medals in both organizations for his paintings and sculptures. He is known for his attention to detail, and particularly his sculptures of horses. Believing that an artist should know his subject matter, "H" spends much of his leisure time team roping and staying close to the cowboy way of life. In 1987, "H" was chosen to sculpt a series of commemorative bronzes to depict the 165 year history of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma and Kansas. He has completed 9 monuments, the first being Boomer for the city of Enid, Oklahoma. This monument went on to become the official symbol of the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma and Kansas by legislative decree, and was the symbol also used by "H" when he was commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service to produce a commemorative US postage stamp for the Cherokee Strip, with 92,000,000 stamps being released on April 17, 1993. In 1987, "H" completed his second monument, The Rancher, for the Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, Texas. Altus, Oklahoma, then commissioned "H" to sculpt a piece to commemorate their centennial which resulted in his Crossing the Red sculpture dedicated in November of 1991. On April 17,1993, "H's fourth monument, Holding the Claim, which is a companion piece to Boomer and commemorates the largest land run in history was unveiled in historic Government Springs Park in Enid, Oklahoma. His fifth monument was commissioned by Security National Bank of Enid, Oklahoma, of a life-size Indian figure, Keeper of the Plains was unveiled in April, 1994, on the Garfield County Courthouse lawn. "H's" second Native American monument is a one and one fourth life size bronze entitled Vision Seeker. It was unveiled in Altus, OK in May of 1996 and in Enid, Oklahoma at Enid High School. In June, 2000, "H's" Civil War monument of Corporal Noah van Buren Ness was unveiled in Ness City, Kansas. It was the first Civil War sculpture in Kansas in over 60 years In October, 2000, Headin' to Market, "H's" life and one quarter monument was set outside the historic OKC stockyards at the corner of Agnew and Exchange in Oklahoma City. His 10th public monument, a life and one quarter sculpture of Will Rogers horseback was dedicated on May 5th, 2005 at Will Rogers World Airport in OKC. His 9th monument was a sculpture for Oklahoma State University entitled We Will Remember. This kneeling cowboy was commissioned as part of t

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