C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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1930: North High School, 1437 N. Rochester, Wichita, Kansas Wichita's second city high school (after East, built in 1924), North was designed by architect Glen H. Thomas and finished with Native American-themed sculptural elements by Wichita artist Bruce Moore. The neighboring Minisa Bridge (over the Little Arkansas River) shares the motif. The building has been annexed and expanded numerous times over the years, always keeping the new structures in line with the original design cues.

Bruce Moore, 1905 - 1980

Born 1905, Bern, Kansas

(moved to Wichita at age 12)

Died 1980, Washington, DC

Education - Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

1929-31 Guggenheim Fellowship for study in Paris

1937-39 Cromwell Fellowship, guest sculptor at the American Academy in Rome

Commissions & Museum Collections: a selected list

St. Francis, Wichita Art Museum

Pelican Fountain, Pratt, KS

National Memorial of the Pacific, Honolulu

Kings Doors & Hooker Doors for Grace Cathedral, San Francisco

Designs for Steuben Glass

Wichita High School North

St Francis, W.J. Clapp Memorial sculpture for the Wichita Art Museum

Wichita Center for the Arts (Wichita Art Association)

Bruce Moore, just like another younger artist, William Dickerson, became a lifelong friend and essentially a surrogate son for Seward. The lithograph Seward made in 1929 while Moore was creating his plaster bust of Seward is a wonderful testimony to their friendship.  With his stylized art deco border Seward does a visual nod to Moore’s recent commission to create the sculptural elements for the buildings and adjoining bridge of North High School. 

Soon after Moore’s family settled in Wichita, Kansas, 12 year old, Moore’s innate artistic talent was recognized by the city’s close knit group of art supporters and their support of Moore is reflected by the large number of commissions and works that are in Wichita collections as well as at the Wichita Art Museum and the Wichita Center for the Arts.  This group carefully fostered his interest and arranged for 17 year old Moore to study with noted American sculptor Charles Grafly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  Moore then returned to Wichita for three years (1923-29) where he developed his own personal style as a sculptor. He produced an enormous body of work during this time. These pieces as well as his later commissions, which can be found in Wichita, document Moore’s instinctive ability to consistently capture the essence of his subject.  As one critic explained, “Stylization and abstraction were synthetic and unreal to him, but at the same time he regarded any preoccupation with superficial appearance as equally unreal and undesireable.

From 1929-31 Moore held a Guggenheim Fellowship for study in Paris he then once again returned to Wichita.  The years of the depression pushed Moore to leave Wichita and he found work in New York as an assistant to sculptor James Earle Fraser (Indian Head nickel and End of the Trail). Moore then received another fellowship as guest sculptor at the American Academy in Rome.When he returned to he lived first in Connecticut and then ultimately settled in Washington, DC, Moore, however continued his close ties to his family and friends in Wichita. A file of correspondence between Moore and Seward attests to the close friendship the two retained until Seward’s death in January of 1939.

Moore’s work as a sculptor includes a wide range of commissions from the early architectural sculptural elements for Wichita North High School, General Billy Mitchell (collection of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum), the King Memorial and also Hooker Memorial Doors for Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to the National Memorial of the Pacific in Honolulu. Of particular importance for his career were Moore’s many designs for Steuben Glass.

After his death, Moore’s widow returned his ashes to Kansas and also established an archive for his papers at the Wichita Center for the Arts.

Letters from Moore to SewardBM_letters.html

Images on this page (top to bottom, left to right): 1929 lithograph by C.A. Seward of Bruce Moore, photograph of Moore’s bust of Seward, photograph of Bruce Moore, lithograph by Seward titled, “My Sculptor Friend Bruce Moore, 26 December 1925, exterior view of Wichita High School North, and Bruce Moore Retrospective exhibition catalog. The sculptures entitled “Panther”  and “St. Francis” are also in Wichita, Kansas, collections. (Sources for much of this information was made available by the Wichita Center for the Arts who maintains the Bruce Moore Archives.)

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