Originally featured in Points West magazine in Fall/Winter 2017
Q Street Buffalo by Alexander Phimister Proctor
In 2016, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West accepted a remarkable gift of paintings, plasters, and bronzes by Alexander Phimister Proctor, along with related historical material. The gift culminated more than a decade of donations to the Center on behalf of the Proctor family and the A. Phimister Proctor Museum in Hansville, Washington. An exceptional cast of Proctor’s Q Street Buffalo is among the treasures.
Proctor created four immense sculptures of buffalo to decorate the Dumbarton—or Q Street—Bridge in Washington, DC. This tabletop-sized cast was made after the original maquette for those colossal bridge statues. Both the large and small versions of Proctor’s sculpture contributed to the dialogue around conservation of the American bison and bolstered the bison’s status as a national emblem and symbol of the American West.
This sculpture complements and enhances the Center’s extensive holdings of Proctor material. The Whitney Western Art Museum exhibits it alongside a trove of other original Proctor artworks in the Whitney Western Art Museum.
Proctor, Untitled (self-portrait), 1882. Oil on paperboard. Gift of A. Phimister Proctor Museum with special thanks to Sandy and Sally Church, 2.16.9. Photography: William J. O’Connor.
Alexander Phimister Proctor (1860–1950). Q Street Buffalo, 1912. Bronze. Gift of A. Phimister Proctor Museum with special thanks to Sandy and Sally Church, 2.16.2. Photography: William J. O’Connor.