Born: Bozanquit, Ontario, Canada 1862
Died: Palo Alto, California 1950
Important animal, Western, and figural sculptor, painter.
Proctor was raised in Denver where he knew legendary frontier personalities. At 14, he was spending his summers hunting and trapping in the Rockies, a self-taught sketch artist on Western subjects. He also began modeling animals, working alone. In 1887, he went to New York City for formal training at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. His first important exhibition was at the Columbian Exposition in 1893, following which he studied in Paris for a year until Saint-Gaudens hired him as an assistant. In 1895, he won a Rinehart Scholarship for study in Paris at the Julien and Colarossi academies, the pupil of Puech and Injalbert.
Success came by 1900, Proctor spent his summers in the Northwest, hunting and making studies for his winters in New York City. Theodore Roosevelt commissioned the Bison Heads over the mantel in the state dining room of the White House. Many of his monuments were recast by the foundries Roman Bronze and Gorham Bronze in sizes reduced to eight to 35” high. Proctor also made pen and ink drawings, crayon drawings, small oils, and Western animal etchings. “During his lifetime, there were few major cities which did not have Proctor’s life-size bronze figures.”
Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST,
Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing