During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dallas businessman Ben H. Carpenter undertook the task of converting his family ranch into a world-class residential and business development called “Las Colinas.”
To reflect the state’s natural, untamed past, Carpenter commissioned a larger-than-life sculpture of a group of wild mustangs running across a stream. He planned to display the work in the center of a large, pink-granite plaza, where it would serve as the focal point of the new development.
In 1976, Carpenter approached African wildlife artist Robert Glen to bring his vision to reality. Glen spent a year researching and studying the history of the mustangs to better understand his subject. He discovered that mustangs in the United States today showed elements of crossbreeding, but in southern Spain he found a line of horse with the same pure bloodlines as the horses that the Spanish brought to America centuries ago. He used these horses as the models for his sculpture.
Working from his studio in Nairobi, Kenya, Glen made small scale models of mustangs in various poses to help him work out the design of the sculpture. He then made half-lifesized models of the horses. For the next step in the process, Glen made fiberglass molds of these models and shipped them to a foundry in England.
The foundry used the molds for scaling and measurement in creating 1½-lifesize foam models. The artist then added layers of plasticine to the surface of the foam models to sculpt the fine details of the mustangs’ bodies. He coated the soft plasticine with layers of resin to harden it so if could withstand the rigors of the mold-making process.
After an elaborate course of creating positive and negative molds, the foundry completed the bronze casting in November 1981. Visit the Mustang Museum for a detailed explanation of the complex method of crafting the figures.
The mustangs were shipped by air from England to Irving, Texas, and after the intricate procedure of mounting the figures, the Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture was dedicated on Sept. 25, 1984.