Might be Giants - then again, they might just be the work of Raoul Josset, the
tiny Franco-American sculptor who weighted down the Texas landscape with his larger-than-life
Born in France in 1899, Raoul Jossett was trained at the Paris
School of Fine Arts, the Lycee of Lyons and Paris and studied under famed sculptor
Antoine Bourdelle. Between 1920 and 1926 he created more than 15 memorials in
France. He was awarded the Rome Prize in 1923 and the Prix Paris for the years
1924, 1925 and 1926. Not bad for a man in his twenties.
He left Europe
for the United States in 1933 and received his first commission carving two 45
foot granite Indians for the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge at Vincennes,
Indiana. The following year, while working on two major Chicago works, Raoul became
of the Centennial, 1936, Fair Park, Dallas.|
Statue of concrete and plaster
carved by Jose Martin. The reflection pool also provided by Josset and Martin.
The model for this statue was Georgia Carroll, lead singer with the Kay Kaiser
band (who later became Mrs. Kaiser.)
Photo courtesy Krystle Fleming, March 2006
was having it's Centennial in 1936
and Josset came to Dallas where he created
the statue Spirit of the Centennial in Dallas'
Fair Park and also made matching statues for the exhibits of the United States,
France and Mexico. |
His Memorial to Captain King, a bronze and granite allegorical piece 30 feet
tall in Refugio was never
officially accepted by the county - since the single male figure was unclothed.
It's still there across from the Refugio
County courthouse - patiently awaiting acceptance.
eight-foot bronze statue of George Childress at Washington-on-the-Brazos
stands today outside the Star of the Republic Museum. The statue has been removed
from its long base that once counter-balanced a weighty inscribed granite marker.
allegorical work of Josset is the memorial to the men of Fannin's command that
were killed at Goliad.
In addition to his many statues, he also created 20 bronze plaques for various
centennial monument to Fannin and his men|
statue of La
Salle (also 30 feet tall and made of granite) stands near the site of the
lost town of Indianola.|
of Josset's least seen (but more interesting) works can be found at the Grand
Lodge Masonic Temple in downtown Waco.
The stone 7 foot x 75 foot bas-relief depicts the construction of the Temple of
Masonic Frieze by Raoul Josset|
TE photo, March 2003
Masonic Frieze Detail |
TE photo, March 2003
Josset's signature on Waco Texas Masonic Frieze
Carver Harry Liva worked with
Josset on many of his projects.
TE photo, March 2003
entered a plan for the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., but came in second.
He did win a commission in Philadelphia during WWII
for a bronze statue of Lafayette at the Philadelphia Museum of Fine Arts. He became
an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design in 1954 - one of the highest
artistic honors in the United States.
Josset was proud of his work without
being vain and he was proud to be called a Texan. Of Texas,
Josset said, "There is money and enthusiasm here and people know what they want.
They choose with an eye of permanence, thinking in terms of years, generations,
Concerning art, "Purity of line is the most important
thing,' Josset said. "In all forms of sculpture preceding the Gothic period there
were magnificent works, [but] it was the Gothic who brought the purity of line
to their work. It was the Gothic who taught the stone to pray."
in stature was miniscule compared to his titanic sculptures. Petite with curly
hair, Raoul was once described as looking "somewhat like a mischievous cherub."
Josset died on June 29, 1957 and in his obituary - written by his friend Jack
Sheridan and published in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Sheridan wrote: "Texas
has been privileged to receive the fruits of his artistry to hold for all time
Refugio County will find the time to formally "accept" their Josset
Anyone wishing to share stories, memories or photos
of Raoul Josset or his work, please contact
and Statues | Texas | People
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