This story about country music legend Guy Clark seemed too weird to pass up telling you about…This macabre bronze statue of a crow (raven?) doesn’t have anything to do with the really interesting (and magnificent, actually) saving efforts of the important historical cowboy mural by Texas State University’s The Wittliff Collection and its installation into the Alkek Library (which we are presently undertaking). But for all you country music fans this is a “must read.”
This slightly bigger than life-size bronze crow statue contains the ashes of songwriter Guy Clark who died in 2016. Actually, it doesn’t “contain” the famous country music man’s ashes, it is made WITH his ashes, some lodged in the bird’s chest and much of it mixed into the bronze, some of which can be seen on the base.
Literally this dark-omen-bird carrying the dead, greets you as you come into The Wittliff Collection Gallery in the Alkek Library on the campus. It was created by artist and song writer Terry Allen who was a friend and mentee of Guy Clark.
The title Caw Caw Blues, comes from the last song the ailing Clark worked on before giving it to Nashville artist Rodney Crowell to complete and record. The lyrics were inspired by death march Dust Bowl museum era artifacts of the barbwire nests of West Texas crows.
“On the base of the sculpture are the lyrics of another Guy Clark song, The Cape: He’s one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith. Spread your arms and hold your breath. Always trust your cape.”
Clark won the Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2014 and produced 26 albums. He was a huge influence in the country music world whose music was/is performed and recorded by numerous big names.
The History of Ranching was a famous cowboy mural that was widely known about in its day but was unceremoniously ripped out of a building before demolition took place, went into poor storage conditions and was forgotten! Fortunately for Texas art history and culture, some people remembered and were willing to take action. So, here we are 70 years since it was created… more about the mural’s resurrection and the heroic saving efforts, click here. Another blog post is coming soon about its installation into the Texas State University Campus’ Alkek Library as part of the Wittliff Collection. We are in the middle of installing it right now!!!
#ScottMHaskins #MuralConservation #MuralRestoration #BuckWinn #AlkekLibrary #TexasStateUniversity @TexasStateUniversity #WittliffCollection #HistoryOfRanching #GuyClark #TerryAllen #RodneyCrowell #CawCawBlues
Scott M. Haskins, Art Conservator
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