Harold T. Holden
In 2010, doctors told cowboy sculptor Harold Holden he had about two weeks left in his battle with a debilitating lung disease. Holden closed his art studio, settled accounts and did his best to prepare for his last days on this earth. Then he got a second chance. Holden’s life was saved when he received a lung transplant at the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute in Oklahoma City.
Thank You Lord is a miniature of the life-size, six-foot monument Holden donated to the Institute in honor of organ donor families and the transplant team that saved his life. “Throughout this journey we tried to be strong in our faith and this sculpture is simply our expression of just that, no only for us, but for all of the gifts that the Lord provides: comfort, care, new life and hope.”
H. Holden’s love of the West shines through in his artwork. After graduating from Enid High School, he attended Oklahoma State University and the University of Houston before transferring to the Texas Academy of Art in Houston. After finishing art school, he initially worked as a commercial artist, eventually becoming art director for Horseman Magazine. After serving with the United States Navy in Vietnam, Holden embarked on a fine art career in 1973.
His subjects are almost exclusively related to the West, though he was commissioned to sculpt the bust of Governor David Walters for the Oklahoma State Capitol. His work has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Sculpture Society and the Governor’s Arts Award in 2001. He has also received Gold Medals from the Texas Cowboy Artists Association and the National Western Artists Association.
Holden’s monumental outdoor sculptures can be seen at the Oklahoma City National Stockyards and Will Rogers World Airport, both in Oklahoma City. His work is also included in the collections of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Woolaroc Museum in Bartelsville and the Ranching Heritage Museum in Lubbock, Texas. The bronze miniature Thank You Lord was purchased for the Oklahoma Judicial Center collection.