Stillwater Artist Presents Work to Library
Statue adds to Angie Debo Collection
January 22, 2010
Story by Bob Darcy, Chair, Angie Debo Statue Committee
For Immediate Release
STILLWATER -Stillwater sculptor Phyllis Mantik presented her first bronze Angie Debo maquette to Oklahoma State University Library Dean Sheila Johnson. With Mantik to present the maquette were Bob Darcy, chair of the Angie Debo Statue Committee, and Lynda Reynolds, Stillwater Public Library director.
Bob Darcy chaired a diverse committee of Stillwater residents that conducted a nation-wide search for statue proposals before deciding on Phyllis Mantik’s concept.
“We chose Mantik because she was alone in depicting a young Angie Debo—someone everyone else envisioned as retired and elderly because that was the Angie Debo we knew in the 1980s,” Darcy said. “We wanted to create a new image of Angie Debo, a more dynamic, full of dreams and potential, Angie Debo, an image in which young Oklahomans could better see themselves.”
A maquette is the cast preliminary model of the life-sized bronze sculpture. The full-sized sculpture will be placed in front of the Stillwater Public Library in the fall. It depicts a young Angie Debo, contemplating a future that would include researching and writing ten major works of Oklahoma and Native-American history.
In 1947 Edmon Low, library director at then Oklahoma A&M College, offered Debo the position of Assistant Professor in the Library where she would work as map curator and could spend at least half of her time study and writing.
Debo held this position until she retired in 1955. During this period she published The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma and Oklahoma, Foot-loose and Fancy Free, along with numerous other works.
She held Mr. Low in great esteem and, upon her death in 1988, left her notes, manuscripts and literary rights to the OSU Library. The OSU Library honors Angie Debo with several exhibits and the Angie Debo Room housing her personal library.
The OSU Library, the Stillwater Public Library, the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library, the Stillwater Public Library Trust and a community committee have worked together since 2007 on the Debo Statue Project. It was approved by the City Council in May, 2009.
The project was launched by the Friends of the Stillwater Public Library when the group decided to use a bequest from former Stillwater Public Librarian Della Bennett as seed money toward a statue of Angie Debo.
For more information on Debo’s life and her work, visit the OSU Library’s Angie Debo Digital Collection at http://www.library.okstate.edu/scua/collect/debo/.
Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant system that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for a new world. Oklahoma's only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. OSU has more than 32,000 students across its five-campus system and nearly 21,000 on its Stillwater campus; with students from all 50 states and about 110 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 200,000 students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world. CREATE - INNOVATE - EDUCATE - GO STATE!
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The maquette, the first of ten, will be displayed in the Angie Debo Room of the Edmon Low Library. The room houses many items from Debo’s personal collection, as well as other artists’ rendering of the notable Oklahoma historian. (l to r: Linda Reynolds, Phyllis Mantik, Bob Darcy, Sheila Grant Johnson)
Linda Reynolds and Bob Darcy look on as Phyllis Mantik points out details to Sheila Grant Johnson. This maquette is the first of ten and is a scale model of the life-sized statue that will be placed at the Stillwater Public Library.
Mantik’s (picture in the background) concept for the piece depicts a young Debo.
Last Updated: 22 January 2010