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The Mustangs of Las Colinas Gallop Through 31 Years of History

By Kelly Church

The Mustangs of Las Colinas in Irving, TX is a breathtakingly realistic sculpture of a group of mustang horses running through a water feature. The sculpture has become famous worldwide. The nearby Mustangs of Las Colinas Museum tells the story of the origin and creation of the sculpture. In the late 1960s, Dallas businessman Ben Carpenter decided he wanted a monumental sculpture to serve as the centerpiece of his Las Colinas development. He believed wild mustangs reflected the spirit of Texas and commissioned wildlife artist Robert Glen to create a sculpture of nine mustangs running through a stream.

"The Mustangs capture the free spirit embodied in the heritage of Texas," says Mary Higbie the Mustang Museum Guide.

The museum features photographs that tell the story of these Texan Texas horses and the history of the creation of the sculpture. The sculpture has been around for 31 years and the anniversary is being celebrated with a twist. Due to major road construction outside of the museum last year, the traditional 30th anniversary was postponed until this year and became the 30 + One anniversary.

"We had fun with this," Higbie says. "Times to start events became 30 plus one like 11:31 a.m. for the luncheon check-in, 1:31 p.m. for the open house, 4:31 p.m. for the concert. The price of the anniversary luncheon became $30 plus one, or $31."

According to Higbie, the artist, Robert Glen, lives in Africa and doesn't get to visit often, so when he is in town they consider it an event to celebrate. Glen spent eight years researching the horses and developing the sculpture. Glen developed the sculptures in his studio in Nairobi, Kenya, and shipped them across the globe to settle in Irving. The museum features a short video that details how Glen made his sculptures, from design to molding and mounting.

"Visitors come from around the world to see the beautiful sculpture," Higbie says. "Some have waited 30-plus years to see the art that they saw in a magazine photograph. Almost without exception, there is a visitor in the museum every day from another country."

The Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture and museum is an experience enjoyed by people from around the world. The museum welcomes group tours to come learn more about the mustang sculpture, artist Robert Glen and to see other pieces of his work.

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