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Oklahoma Arts CouncilOklahoma Arts Council

Edward P. McCabe 1850-1923

by Simmie Knox

Oil
Dimensions:
Commissioned by the 2003-2005 Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus
Dedicated on May 24, 2005
Fourth Floor

Edward P. McCabe 1850-1923 by Simmie Knox
Photo by John Jernigan

The Artwork

Edward P. McCabe was former state auditor and was considered the most powerful man in Kansas. After he moved to Oklahoma Territory in 1890, he established the City of Langston, an all black community, and the Langston Herald newspaper. McCabe said the Territory was the "paradise of Eden and the garden of the Gods." Until statehood, he served as deputy territorial auditor of Oklahoma and was heavily involved in early Oklahoma civil rights issues. He pushed for Oklahoma to enter the Union as a black state.

Dedicated on May 24, 2005, this portrait of Edward P. McCabe was painted by nationally known artist Simmie Knox, Silver Springs, Maryland. Commissioned by the 2003-2005 Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus, it is one of a series of portraits authorized by the caucus and approved by the Capitol Preservation Commission and directed by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

The Artist

Simmie Knox
Simmie Knox
Regarding his work, Simmie Knox states, " I think that a good portrait is the most difficult thing for an artist to bring off successfully. Not only must you get an accurate likeness but you must also create a good painting. Somehow you must convey a subject's character, spirit and personality; and everything must communicate the dynamism of the subject." Since 1981, Knox has specialized in portraiture. He earned a Master's of Fine Art from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Pennsylvania. Knox was commissioned to paint the official portrait of former President Bill Clinton, resulting in Knox becoming the first African American to ever paint an official portrait of an American president. Knox has painted portraits of U.S. congressmen and state senators, civic leaders, celebrities and religious leaders.