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Ponca City Information

Marland Mansion Grounds Tour

Bryant Baker Studio

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Bryant Baker Studio

The gallery area is home to the Bryant Baker Studio. Baker, sculptor of the Pioneer Woman Statue, was originally from England. His professional career began in 1903 in London when he supervised the sculpting of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Baker then came to America in 1915, joined the army, and served in the Medical Corps during World War I, molding false hands and casts for the arms and faces of shell-torn soldiers.

Baker became a U.S. citizen in 1923 and made his home in New York City. During his career he created over 100 statues and busts. His heroic bronze monument of the Pioneer Woman is his best known and loved. E. W. Marland arranged a competition among 12 sculptors to create their version of a pioneer woman. The 12 models toured the country, showing in numerous cities, with the public voting for their favorite. Bryant Baker's model was the winner. His 17-foot bronze statue, mounted on a 13-foot limestone pyramid pedestal, was unveiled on April 22, 1930. Marland donated the monument and the land around it to the State of Oklahoma.

After Baker's death in 1970, the City of Ponca City purchased the contents of his New York Studio and moved them here. The collection includes 44 plaster and bronze busts and Marquette's (model sized statues), divided into four areas of interest: the President's Gallery, British Subjects, Mythological Creatures, and Pioneer Women. There are numerous photographs depicting the various locations of the actual life-size bronzes throughout the world.

Highlighting the studio is a mannequin of Bryant Baker himself. The life-size model of the artist was designed and built by Jo Saylors, Ponca City renowned sculptor.