Iron Tracks Through the West
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Iron Tracks Through the West bronze
IRON TRACKS THROUGH THE WEST
Bronze, 12” x 28” x 8.5”
This sculpture of the “iron horse” tells the story of America’s Westward Expansion by merging the forces and figures that transformed the continent. Like a stream flowing to a river, the iron tracks of the railroad brought change and accelerated the development and progress of America. The railroad connected the people of the Atlantic and Pacific, helping join a diverse nation. The large steam engine and coal car, in a partial relief, symbolize the American drive to forge ahead through industry and technology. The right side of the sculpture shows a Plains Indian on a swift pony pursuing running buffalo; they represent the native peoples and animals of the untamed West. As the running buffalo move through the sculpture, they merge into longhorn cattle, which soon replaced the buffalo that grazed the open grasslands of the prairie. A cowboy on horseback, which is one of the most distinct images of the West, drives this herd of longhorns. Behind these figures, sculpted in relief, rise the Rocky Mountains. An eagle flies through the sky, which is silhouetted in the shape of the locomotive. The eagle’s soaring flight symbolizes the freedom and hope of our great nation.