The El Paso Times reports that "Vaquero," Luis Jimenez' sculpture of a Mexican cowboy that has stood in front of the El Paso Museum since 1998, was moved yesterday, its final destination the collection of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. A work by Jimenez on view at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock was the subject of an earlier Eye Candy post. From the story:
The sculpture's new owners plan to install it on the wooded grounds of the 120-acre facility, said Crystal Bridges Director Don Bacigalupi.
He called Jimenez "one of the most important Latino artists of the 20th century."
"It's a major acquisition in terms of the diversity of the collection and fully representing the story of American art in the 20th century by virtue of the growing importance of Latino artists in that story," said Bacigalupi, who worked with Jimenez in Houston.
He would not disclose what the museum paid for "Vaquero," but local experts have pegged its value between $500,000 to $1 million.
"Vaquero" will be packed into a crate and transported from El Paso to Houston's Robert Pringle Conservation, where it will be prepared for its new home.
The article says that the fiberglass sculpture is one of five versions that Jimenez, who died in 2006, was commissioned to create by Dallas collector and fiberglass magnate Frank K. Ribelin. The piece was on loan to the El Paso museum. Ribelin died last year, and his family has been selling off his collection.
Chicano historian Miguel Juarez told the El Paso Times that he wished the city could have acquired the piece. "It would be like saying goodbye to a family member." But El Paso Museum director Michael Tomor said its removal to Crystal Bridges will place it "in one of the great American instutions."