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David L. Payne, The Original Oklahoma Boomer

by Joe R. Taylor

Gift to the Capitol from the Robert L. Williams Estate
Dimensions: 25 height

David L. Payne, The Original Oklahoma Boomer by Joe R. Taylor
Photo by John Jernigan

The Artwork

David L. Payne is known as Oklahoma’s original boomer and has been called the father of Oklahoma for his push to settle the unassigned lands which Payne considered to be public domain.

David L. Payne by Joseph Richard Taylor was a gift by George E. Massey. Taylor’s sculptures are among the most prominent in the state, his sculpture of Dr. William Bennett Bizzell is in front of the library that bears his name at the University of Oklahoma.

The Artist

Joseph Richard Taylor was born February 1, 1907 in Wilbur, Washington. He grew up in Canada and died December 1, 2000, in Norman, Oklahoma. Taylor received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts from the University of Washington. Taylor also studied at Columbia University for a short time in 1940. He started teaching at the University of Oklahoma in 1933 and held a David Ross Boyd Distinguished Professorship from 1963 until becoming Emeritus in 1971. After retiring, he continued to create works of art in wood, bronze, and stone. Taylor received the Governors Lifetime Service Award for excellence in the Arts in 1978. Taylor also owned and operated a purebred cattle ranch in Grady County, Oklahoma.