Pioneer Woman

  • Bryant Baker, Roman Bronze Works, Inc., Pioneer Woman, modeled 1927, cast 1968, bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1968.126

In 1926, Bryant Baker won a competition to sculpt a seventeen-foot-high bronze monument in Ponca City, Oklahoma. He crafted this smaller version of Pioneer Woman before unveiling the monument on April 22, 1930, to a crowd that included President Herbert Hoover, humorist Will Rogers, and oil magnate E. W. Marland, who had funded the project. The monument’s plaque stated that Baker created it in appreciation of the heroic character of the women who braved the dangers and endured the hardships incident to the daily life of the pioneer and homesteader in this country.” According to the sculptor, the boy personifies the future of the American West and the woman’s bundle symbolizes the burden of life. The book under her right arm is the Bible, which Baker believed was a vital factor in building up this country” (“Bryant Baker, Sculptor, Dies; Executed Busts of 5 Presidents,” New York Times, March 311970).

It is undoubtedly one of the most insouciant, sincere and human plastic presentations of the century.” Kineton Parkes, quoted in An Anglo-American Sculptor,” Apollo: A Journal of the Arts, October 1932
Pioneer Woman
modeled 1927, cast 1968
Not on view
321516 18 in. (81.338.141.1 cm) 
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the artist

Mediums Description
  • Figure group – female and child
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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