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Oklahoma Arts CouncilOklahoma Arts Council

Governor David Hall

by Leonard D. McMurry

Commissioned by the Oklahoma State Legislature
Dedicated 1982
Second Floor: Hall of Governors

Governor Henry Louis Bellmon by Leonard D. McMurry

The Artwork

David Hall was born October 20, 1930 in Oklahoma City and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. William A. "Red" Hall. He was a Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Oklahoma where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1952. David Hall served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954. He continued his education at the University of Tulsa where he received his law degree in 1959.

He served as Assistant County Attorney of Tulsa County from 1959 to 1962 and as County Attorney from 1962 to 1966. In 1968 he returned to the University of Tulsa where he served as Professor of Law. He was inaugurated January 11, 1971, following the closest gubernatorial election in the state's history. Hall was indicted by a federal grand jury three days after leaving office. He later served 19 months of a three-year sentence for extortion and conspiracy convictions. Hall died at a hospital near his home in San Diego, California on May 6, 2016.

The Artist

Known as Oklahoma's own "Michelangelo," Leonard McMurry was born to a family of prominent cotton farmers in the Texas panhandle. McMurry moved to Oklahoma in 1955 and then lived in Stilwell and Oklahoma City. Under the teachings of sculptors Carl Mose and Ivan Mestrovic, McMurry perfected his craft. His magnificent sculptures of Oklahoma icons can be seen across the state including the '89er statue on Couch Drive in Oklahoma City and the Praying Hands that grace the lawns of Oral Roberts University.

In accordance with Oklahoma's Diamond Jubilee celebration in 1982, McMurry was commissioned to sculpt busts of 21 past Oklahoma Governors. The Hall of Governors exudes Oklahoman's pride in her past legislative guardians. Regarding his works, McMurry states, "Each piece must have a soul, a living quality that's far more important than just physical representation. A piece has to have guts: the strength, power, and dignity, that makes it a monument." McMurry has accomplished that very feat within the grandiose Hall of Governors in which visitors may come face to face with naturalistic representation of Oklahoma leaders.