End of the Trail Statue
27000 S Mooney Bl. Visalia, Tulare County, California, USA
End of the Trail Statue Tulare County, California Reviews
Jun 09, 2006
James Earle Fraser was only 17 when he designed and first sculpted this wonderful piece in 1894.
This lone figure on his horse is one of the most recognized symbols of the American West. The monumental, 18' plaster sculpture was created for San Francisco's 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition and received the exposition's Gold Medal for sculpture. It was immediately one of the most popular sculptures in the United States and was reproduced in as many manners as people had available at the time.
Although James Earle Fraser (who also designed the famed Indian Buffalo Nickel) hoped his masterpiece would be cast in bronze and placed on Presidio Point overlooking San Francisco Bay, material restrictions during the First World War made the project impossible. Instead, in 1920, the city of Visalia, California, obtained the statue and placed it in Mooney Park, where it remained for 48 years. In 1968, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum acquired this original plaster statue from Visalia in return for a bronze casting of the original, restored it to its original magnificence, and made it a focal point of the museum.
The original plaster cast can be viewed at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73111 (405) 478-2250.
The sculpture was inspired by a passage from Marion Manville Pope: "The trail is lost, the path is hid and winds that blow from out the ages sweep me on to that chill borderland where Time's spent sands engulf lost peoples and lost trails."
A nearby plaque reads: END OF THE TRAIL/JAMES EARLE FRASER/1876 - 1953/THE PLASTER MODEL OF THIS STATUE/WAS EXHIBITED IN THE PANAMA - PACIFIC/EXPOSITION, SAN FRANCISCO, 1915. IT/WAS MOVED TO THIS PARK IN 1919 WHERE/IT STOOD UNTIL 1968. IT WAS THEN/TRADED TO THE NATIONAL COWBOY HALL OF FAME/OKLAHOMA CITY, FOR/THIS BRONZE CASTING, FULFILLING/THE HOPE OF MR. FRASER./DEDICATED DECEMBER 19 1971
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