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David Adickes...Texas Artist and Sculptor

Updated on July 20, 2015

David Adickes

A very young David Adickes
A very young David Adickes

David Adickes

The career of well known Texas artist and sculptor, David Adickes, spans 6 decades. Born in Huntsville, Texas, Adickes soon left home for a stint in the military. Although he has a degree in math and physics in 1948, he pursued art and studied in France from 1948 to 1950 with modern French master Fernand Leger. After his studies, Adickes chose to return to the Houston where he opened an art school with his old friend Herb Means. The Studio School of Contemporary Art, together but it did not work out. They made a lot of friends but very little money.

The Virtuoso
The Virtuoso | Source

The Virtuoso

The Virtuoso was David Adickes first large size sculpture commissioned in 1983 by the Lyric Center. The Virtuoso is a 36 foot tall statue of a cellist at play. The 76 foot statue of Sam Houston located in Huntsville, Texas was completed in 1994. His seven year project building presidential parks in South Dakota (August 2003) and Williamsburg, Virginia (March 2004) began in 1996.

Cubist Philosopher

Cubist Philosopher painted in acrylic by David Adickes
Cubist Philosopher painted in acrylic by David Adickes | Source

David Adickes: The Artist

David Adickes art has been featured in many one man shows across the United States and in France where he lived for six years early in his career. Mr. Adickes is well traveled and has circled the globe painting in Tahiti, Japan, Spain. His art is featured in many museums, and hundreds of corporate and private collections.

David Adickes in his studio in 1953.
David Adickes in his studio in 1953. | Source
Christmas 1954 copyright David Adickes
Christmas 1954 copyright David Adickes | Source

Early Career

The Houston Artists Annual art show offered a $100.00 prize to the winner, but there was a catch... the artist must have lived in Houston for a year. In the spring of 1951 Adickes submitted his art and won first place. When the awards were given Adickes only received an honorable mention. The judge noted the mistake and was informed that Adickes had not lived in Houston for the full year required in the rules. Judge William Lester of the University of Texas said it was not fair and they should do something for him. Some time later Adickes was invited to do a one man show at the museum. At the time David Adickes was working during the day as a draftsman for an oil company. This one man show literally launched his career.

Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin | Source

Stephen F. Austin Statue

In 2003 Adickes returned to painting and produced many fine works. However, his love of sculpture inspired him to create his statue of Stephen F. Austin located in Henry Munson Park in Brazoria County, Texas. The statue of the Father of Texas is 60 foot tall resting on a 12 foot base making the exhibit a total of 72 feet tall and visible for many miles around.

The Beatles by David Adickes

The Beatles statues are a reflection of the early art of David Adickes in the 1960s
The Beatles statues are a reflection of the early art of David Adickes in the 1960s

The Beatles

David Adickes art and style came of age during the turbulent 1960s. The Beatles exhibit is not in the same style of the presidents but is a reflection of the contemporary style in his early paintings. The final home of The Beatles will be close to Adickes offices on Shepherd Drive in Houston.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
President Ronald Reagan
President Ronald Reagan

The Water Lights District in Pearland, Texas

During the early 2000s David Adickes partnered with developers to create a planned urban development in Pearland about fifteen minutes south of Downtown Houston. Adickes has created 43 presidential heads to be placed in Presidential Park™. The development would have been known as The Water Lights District and would have included residential and business park areas with a Grand Canal™ and Restaurant Row™. The Water Lights District would have been a strong tourist attraction and bring many visitors to Pearland, Texas and Brazoria County. Unfortunately, the financial crisis in 2008 brought these plans to an end. The Water Lights District was never completed.


Bullfighter, c. 1965, oil on canvas. William Reeves Fine Art
Bullfighter, c. 1965, oil on canvas. William Reeves Fine Art | Source

David Adickes Museum

Critics Corner

The art and sculpture of David Adickes is not without its critics. Some do not approve of having art located along the highways of any major city. There have been critics who fairly or unfairly claim that Adickes’ statues lack vibrancy and life that bring them alive like the work of the masters. Some of the criticism has been down right nasty. The names of these critics were deliberately left out of this piece. It seemed important to give a balanced view of opinion of the art of David Adickes. I do not pretend to be knowledgeable about good art but I do enjoy the sculptures and feel that the placement of these works in Houston will benefit the community. I enjoyed viewing The Virtuoso for many years before I heard of David Adickes. I admit to bias as a Native Houstonian.

Elvis Presley Owned David Adickes Painting

David Adickes painting owned by Elvis Presley
David Adickes painting owned by Elvis Presley | Source

44 Presidential Busts Available in Virginia


Submit a Comment

  • Smireles profile image

    Sandra Mireles 8 years ago from Texas

    Thank you, Mr. Adickes for taking time to comment. I found your sculptures recently on a day trip to Brazoria County. They are beautiful and impressive. I wanted to know more. Your contribution to art in the Houston area is enormous and I wanted to pay tribute. Thank you so much.

  • profile image

    david adickes 8 years ago

    I don't know who put this together, but i was amazed, it was lots of fun. Thank you, whoever you are, very much

  • mecheshier profile image

    mecheshier 8 years ago

    Nice article. Very informative. His work is very impressive. I sculpt as well..

  • profile image

    Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

    Nice! He already has Obama! Impressive

  • profile image

    BJC 8 years ago

    The sculptures are beautiful. Appreciate you sharing this with us.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

    thanks for share about David Adickes. I think he is really great person. As an artist and a sculptor. And I think he is famous person in your country. great hub.

  • profile image

    Art Gottschalk 8 years ago

    David Adickes is also an accomplished clarinetist, playwright, and composer, and seems to get more done in one day than many people do in a lifetime - a true living treasure! Keep up the good work, my friend.

  • Smireles profile image

    Sandra Mireles 8 years ago from Texas

    Robert Johns, I totally agree with you!

  • profile image

    Robert Johns 8 years ago

    "That's why they don't build monuments to critics"

    I think his paintings are superb, his sculptures are amusing,amazing and thought provoking and he himself has an incredibly unique energy about him.

    Keep it goin' Mr. Adickes!!!

  • Ginn Navarre profile image

    Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

    I really enjoyed seeing these--love the sculptures.

  • Smireles profile image

    Sandra Mireles 8 years ago from Texas

    The Virtuoso is located at the Lyric Center in Downtown Houston in the theatre district. I saw it many times through the years and had no idea it was created by a local artist. It is impressive and is directly on the street in downtown Houston.

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Wow, I've never seen these. They are great :) I love the Virtuoso...

  • RNMSN profile image

    Barbara Bethard 8 years ago from Tucson, Az

    very good follow up!

    my favorite is the virtuoso /...well after the beatles but hey, you cant really put them in any favorite contest, they always win :)

  • EverythingMouse profile image

    EverythingMouse 8 years ago

    What amazing sculptures. I too like the Beatles one and vituoso.

  • judydianne profile image

    judydianne 8 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

    Interesting hub. I love the Beatles sculptures.