Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Blog | 2 comments

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas, Texas

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Pioneer Plaza is located close to the Convention Center in downtown Dallas.  The 4.2 acres were once railroad and warehouse property.  The land was cleared for the Dallas Tower hotel and office complex which was part of the failed Griffin Square development.  The plaza and the sculpture which are now a major tourist attraction were the idea of Trammell Crow, the real estate developer, who wanted an iconic “Western” sculpture in the city of Dallas.

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas, Texas

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

The large sculpture commemorates the nineteenth century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail, the earliest and eastern most route by which Texas longhorn cattle were taken to the northern rail-heads.  Robert Summers of Glenn Rose, Texas created the 70 six-foot high bronze longhorn steers and the three trail riders.  All together the group is the largest bronze monument in the world.  As you can see from the accompanying photos, this sculpture works around an artificial ridge down a trail and across a stream to create a dramatic depiction of a cattle drive.

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas, Texas

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Many local artists sued to stop the project claiming that it was historically inaccurate.  While it is true that some cattle were driven along the Shawnee Trailthrough Dallas for a few years in the mid-1800’s, the far more important Chisholm Trail passed through the heart of Fort Worth.  Dallas grew up as a mercantile city that, ironically, used to look down its nose at the cowtown to its west.  The whole idea may be a romantic view of a historic event that had no real significance to its location.  However, this has not stopped Pioneer Plaza from becoming one of the most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas.

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas, Texas

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

Bronze sculptures, no matter how impressive, do not look much when photographed.  It is obvious that the photograph is just a facsimile of some other artist’s work.  I decided to leave just one of the accompanying images in modern-day digitally crisp color, rendering the rest in differing attempts at recreating not only the brilliance of the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive sculptures but also the feel of the era the sculpture represents.

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas, Texas

Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive Bronze Statues by Robert Summers, Dallas

–  Click on the image to enlarge or purchase  –

2 Comments

  1. I’ve never seen or heard of this place. wonderful images Mark and beautifully processed.
    Edith levy recently posted..Fire in the Sky & Tips to Shoot FireworksMy Profile

  2. Great series of images, Mark.
    Really nice work, I love the look on them all. You did a fine job on these, as did the creator of this wonderful place.
    Jimi Jones recently posted..The Edge of NightMy Profile

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