Dick Johnson submitted this article about the retirement of sculptor Glenna Goodacre. Thanks! -Editor
Sculptors never retire, but Glenna Goodacre has broken the mold. Designer-modeler of the famed Sacagawea Dollar coin announced this week
she is retiring. She has given away all her sculpture and all her sculpture tools.
Unlike sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, who was climbing ladders still working on oversize models at age 96, Goodacre, now 77, had
drastically reduced her three-dimensional work after a head injury from a fall nine years ago. She announced last week she will no longer
create any sculpture.
Her existing portraits, monuments, statues, and, of course, her Sacagawea dollar will remain the legacy of her genre career. Despite the
public's dislike of the coin as a circulating medium, the public adored her design of American historical heritage. Also, it fit the
Treasury's mantra for a woman on the coin instead of another dead president.
The Sacagawea portrait was a brilliant design by Glenna Goodacre. Her depiction of a Native American Shoshone mother, in retrograde pose
looking back over her shoulder to her papoose strapped on her back, was exceptional. First issued in 2000 it had a nine-year run. But like
its predecessor, the Susan B. Anthony dollar, both met the lack of public acceptance.
The Treasury's attempt to differ the dollar coin from a similar-size quarter, it issued the Sacagawea in brass and called it
"golden color." It continued Goodacre's design three more years in a Native American Series, 2009-2011, with three different
reverses. It, in turn, was replaced by the American Presidents Series, all in the same size and composition.
Goodacre had chosen several art galleries to show her work in the South and Southwest. Galleria Silecchia (sell-a- che-a) in Sarasota,
Florida was most prominent. Fortunately for her this gallery was a master of sculpture promotion. It promoted and offered Goodacre's
Sacagawea Portrait in a number of ways.
The public could acquire a bronze relief of Sacagawea -- without the lettering appearing on the coin of course -- as well as an edition
of the same portrait in terra cotta. Or, the dollar coin on a framed document with Glenna Goodacre's autograph is available as
Also, an inspired sculptural creation featuring an eight-inch tall Glenna-created statuette of Sacagawea with outstretched arms, was also
available. On the arms rests the Golden dollar of Sacagawea! A significant compliment to the Sacagawea coin and an excellent display piece for the
Her generous gifts from her sculpture collection has been given to institutions in her home state of Texas and her adopted state of New
Mexico. Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech in Lubbock received the bulk of her sculpture, where she had preciously donated statues, in
honor of her parents who graduated there.
Glenna Goodacre's career mirrored, somewhat, that of Electra Wagonner Biggs. Both were Texas gals from wealthy families who had a
burning interest in sculpture. Both traveled to New York City to obtain their sculpture training and both were generous in sharing their
art with others.
Glenna's father was a developer in Lubbock. Her husband is a lawyer in Dallas. The couple have homes in Dallas, Pecos and Santa Fe,
New Mexico and Los Cabos, Mexico. She maintained her studio in Santa Fe where she created her sculptural work.
Other than her coin design, she created nearly 600 sculptural works. Most noted are several monuments including the Women's Vietnam
Memorial in Washington, DC, and the Irish Famine Memorial, in Philadelphia, the later contained 25 figures in a 30-foot long tableau.
Her earliest art creations were paintings, but she turned to sculpture in 1969. Her daughter is supermodel Jill Goodacre, active in the
1980s, who often served as a model for her female figures.
A 2009 book, Glenna Goodacre Sculpture, was published detailing her work in honor of 40 years as a sculptor. The Sacagawea Dollar
is her only numismatic production.
Additional images of her sculpture can be found at http://www.galleriasilecchia.com/Goodacre/bio.html
Thanks also to George Cuhaj who forwarded the September 19, 2016 issue of SculptureNews with word of Goodacre's retirement.
Glenna Goodacre at the Sacagawea coin unveiling
with Hillary Clinton and the model for Sacagawea
For more information on the National Sculpture Society, see: http://nationalsculpture.org/
Wayne Homren, Editor
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