High Plains Drifter in Houston

Photo of High Plains Drifter in Houston, Texas
Photograph Wayne Lorentz

High Plains Drifter

333 Clay Street, Houston, Texas, Downtown 77002


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Another piece of public art in Houston that the Houston public rarely gets to see. Not because it's being kept away from them, but because it's hidden behind an earthen berm around the side of a skyscraper near an entrance used only by employees. Still, High Plains Drifter is an impressive work. In the 1970's the developers of the Allen Center asked the Museum of Fine Arts Houston to find someone who could suggest a young artist to create a sculpture for their property. Art critic Clement Greenberg was the name the MFA/H came up with. He put together a panel of six artists: Peter Reginato, Michael Steiner, James Wolfe, Isaac Witkin, Ken Greenleaf, and Roger Williams. Each was given $1,000 to produce a model of their intended sculpture. Reginato won, but the scale of the work was beyond the capacity of his studio space. So the project was actually build in Bennington, Vermont by Bob Walcott and trucked down to Houston.

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