Oklahoma Wesleyan University is thrilled to announce the donation of 30 bronze statues sculpted by Jim Hamilton, a famed western artist.
The donation comes courtesy of Lisa and Mark Roberts and is considered one of the largest western, single-artist bronze collections in the United States. Mark Roberts, who was the first president of the OKWU Foundation, served for six years and continues to play a role through generous donations and support, valuing the mission statement of OKWU as a Christ-centered university.
“This bronze collection has always been special to us because of its history and connection with the local land and people,” Roberts said. “We wanted to find a home for the collection where people could continue to appreciate the history and story behind each piece of art. Sharing the collection with OKWU allowed us to do just that.”
Jim Hamilton Jr. (1920-2000), the artist who sculpted the collection, grew up among the Osage. His work is based on his familiarity with the tribe and the cowboys who interacted with them. In addition to this collection, his work is featured prominently on the campuses of Oklahoma State University and the University of Texas. OKWU’s La Quinta Mansion, constructed in 1932, was the home of H.V. Foster, who also worked with and befriended the Osage people in the early decades of the 20th century under a 20-year blanket oil lease Foster’s company signed with the Osage Tribal Council in 1896.
“Once again, Mark and Lisa Roberts have blessed Oklahoma Wesleyan University with their generosity,” President Jim Dunn said. “The remarkable gift of this exquisite and valuable collection will be utilized by OKWU in every possible way to benefit the reason why this university has existed since 1905: to advance the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are grateful for their gracious partnership with us as we continue to equip and develop every person in our university community as whole persons in Christ, so we can collectively influence the whole world for Christ.”
OKWU is a proud recipient of this generous gift and looks forward to sharing the Osage people’s history through this beautiful collection.
“We wanted to find a home for the collection where people could continue to appreciate the history and story behind each piece of art. Sharing the collection with OKWU allowed us to do just that.”