How Many More
One of the most photographed pieces in the Briscoe Western Art Museum is a life-sized bronze with features that respond to the light, giving the facial expression a truly lifelike quality. Through meticulous sculpting and understanding of the human form, Blair Buswell’s How Many More sends a powerful message. The figure looks away from the viewer, arms tightly folded, mouth pursed, and brow furrowed, appearing to look ahead into a future that he does not wish to see.
The figure in How Many More is quite interesting. Buswell has clearly gone to great lengths to create a historically accurate rendering of an older individual from a Plains tribe. The buckskins and feathers indicate this individual is representative of a Native person from the nineteenth century. The paint on his face and the pipe tomahawk in his hand suggest he had been a warrior in his younger days. However, with those days now passed, the figure seems to both remember them and to foresee what lies ahead for the members of his tribe. Throughout history, individuals who have seen battle and were hungry for it in their youth have seen the tragedy of too many young lives cut short. The figure in How Many More seems to know that feeling, appearing to be wrapped in pain as he contemplates the results of future conflicts for his people. He asks himself a question for which he has no answer.
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Governor Dolph Briscoe and his wife Janey envisioned a Museum that would preserve the stories and traditions of the American West.