Dave McGary, at 52, is becoming a living legend among contemporary artists of the American West. He is considered the Master of Realism depicting Native American Indians and his many awards during the past decade more than verify his popularity among collectors and fellow artists. His ability to capture the human spirit knows no equal, and his attention to detail in form and historic content are exhilarating.
Dave was born the son of a ranching family in Cody, Wyoming. As a teenager, he was one of four people in the United States awarded a grant to study anatomy and the bronze-making process with master craftsmen in Italy. After returning to America in 1978, Dave spent the next three years working at a bronze foundry, developing his own style and techniques. Two of his bronzes, Horse Thief and Buffalo Warrior are in the permanent collection in the Old Executive Office building at the White House Complex, Washington, D.C.
In July of 1993, Dave’s work was exhibited in a One-Man Show at the Russell Senate Rotunda in Washington, D.C. In 1994, Dave was selected as the only artist from the United States to have a one-man show in the United Nations Environment Programme’s exhibit, Art and the Earth-A Dialogue with Nature.
On February 22, 1998, Dave installed a 30-foot tall, 15-foot wide monument weighing over ten tons at the Houston Astrodome. The sculpture, “Touch the Clouds”, depicts a nineteenth century Miniconjou Chief who fought alongside Crazy Horse at the Battle of Little Big Horn. August 20, 1999, brought wonderful news to McGary Studios, Dave was selected to sculpt the Shoshone Warrior and Peacemaker, Chief Washakie. Dave was selected by the committee which included several members of the Washakie Family. The bronze was dedicated in the U.S. Capitol’s prestigious National Statuary Hall Collection in 2000. Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson, Governor Jim Garinger of Wyoming and other dignitaries, including McGary, spoke to a crowd of over 300 persons including many senators and congressmen at the Chief Washakie dedication ceremony on September 7, 2000.
“Emergence of The Chief”, standing over twenty-four feet, was unveiled in October 2005 on the campus of Concordia University in Montreal, Canada in the heart of Mohawk territory. In Emergence of the Chief Dave depicts a ceremony in which a venerated clan mother of the Mohawk peoples of North America is shown as she circles the chosen chief instructing him in his life-long duties and responsibilities as a leader in the Iroquois Confederacy.
The twice life-size sculpture sits on a six sided engraved stone base, representing the five original nations of the Iroquois Confederacy along with the title panel.
Today, Dave McGary is internationally known and recognized for his works in bronze. His sculptures are in permanent collections at the U.S. Capitol National Statuary Hall, the Smithsonian Museum and the White House collection in Washington, D.C. Other monuments are placed at The Houston Astrodome, the Eiteljorg Museum of the American Indian in Indianapolis, the Buffalo Bill Historical Museum in Cody, Wyoming, and The University of Wyoming, Governors Mansion in Cheyenne, Wyoming & the Tribal Office Building at Ft. Washakie Wyoming. Additional installments are placed at the Shinnecock Native Culture Museum in New York, McCord Museum in Montreal Canada, J.W. Marriott Scottsdale, Arizona, Mayo Clinic and Hospital Scottsdale, Arizona, The Gene Autry Museum in Los Angeles, California, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado, the Wyoming State Capitol in Cheyenne, and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.