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The Sam Houston Collection

Artwork Inquiry

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The Sam Houston Collection is an absolutely stunning, museum-quality collection of historical importance that honors Texas’ greatest hero and one of the real giants of American history.

This unique collection is composed of the original Lajos Markos oil portrait of General Houston, and one of only two castings of Larry Ludtke’s bronze, Sam Houston at San Jacinto.

Sam Houston was the only man in American history to have served as president of a country, governor of two different American states, a United States Congressman and a United States Senator from two different states, a commanding general of a national army and a Cherokee Indian chief. He was also a junior officer and close personal friend and advisor to America’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson, as well as an American soldier who fought with great distinction in battle, a great Texas trial lawyer and a fine public school teacher.

Houston’s victory at the Battle of San Jacinto in April 1836 was one of the most decisive military victories in world history. It not only secured Texas Independence from Mexico, it also paved the way for a vast swath of North America - including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and California to eventually become part of the United States of America.

THE PORTRAIT

SAM HOUSTON by Lajos Markos (1917-1993). (20x16, oil on board, ca. 1970’s) This portrait depicts Houston in his later years when he served as Governor of Texas.

A native of Hungary, Lajos Markos was trained at the Royal Academy of Budapest. He came to the United States following World War II and quickly established himself in New York City as a major portraitist. During his lifetime, Markos completed over 2,000 portraits, including commissions of John Wayne, Robert F. Kennedy, Pablo Casals, Ronald Reagan, the Royal Family of King Hassan II and many other prominent individuals. In the 1960’s, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he expanded his interest to art of the American West. Markos' work can be found in many major private collections and public institutions, including the Texas State Capitol in Austin, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and the Ziegler Museum.

THE BRONZE

GENERAL SAM HOUSTON AT SAN JACINTO by Larry Ludtke (1929- 2008)

This bronze is one of only two cast. (1988) It is a maquette of what was intended to be a lifesize monument for the Capitol grounds in Austin. The Ludtke family retained the first casting and this second casting was intended for the Governor’s Mansion. (It is inscribed on the rear base “for the Governor’s Mansion – Austin, Texas”) This rare bronze has been the property of a prominent Texas Collection since it was originally cast.

Ludtke described the bronze as follows:

“General Sam Houston is depicted astride his horse surveying the Mexican forces laid out before him at San Jacinto. The destiny of his beloved Texas is in his hands and this is the moment of decision.

He has selected the time and place for battle and is about to raise his hat and send the Texas army to the attack. It is a battle destined to be one of the most decisive military victories in the history of the world.

Houston’s horse is looking at the scene and sensing the same danger as his rider. He stands with blood pulsing and nostrils flared as if he somehow knows he will be dead in the first few moments of the attack.”


The Shelton Smith Collection | Gallery viewings by appointment only
607 W. 10th Street, austin tx 78701 | Gallery: 512.582-0073 | Mobile: 512.517.3827 | info@sheltonsmith.com

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