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Oklahoma Arts CouncilOklahoma Arts Council

Governor Martin Edwin Trapp

by Leonard D. McMurry

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

Governor Martin Edwin Trapp by Leonard D. McMurry

The Artwork

Martin Edwin Trapp was born April 18, 1887, in Robinson, Kansas, and educated almost entirely by a neighbor, Mr. McDaniel. He served as County Clerk of Logan County, 1905-1907; State Auditor, 1907-1911; Lieutenant Governor, 1915-1927. After the impeachment of Gov. Walton, he served as Governor of the State from November 19, 1923, until January 10, 1927. Following this, he was a dealer in investment securities until his death July 26, 1951, in Oklahoma City.

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.