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Massive painting to be moved to University of Texas

Posted at 8:10 AM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 11:54:57-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A massive painting from the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History which features the historic representation of the roots of our area in cattle raising and farming will be moved to the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.

The 20-foot by 10-foot canvas-wrapped wooden frame suitable to hang was painted by Fred Orchard in 1981. This landscape mural of longhorns in a Texas pasture has a new home and will be transferred to the Texas Union building in Austin.

Sam Susser heard the mural had longhorns and pastures and needed a home. So, he contacted the school president of the University of Texas. One day later, it has a new home in Austin.

"We found out that the folks at the student union would love to have it,” said Susser.

The artist behind the painting, Fred Orchard, was once a staff member at the museum where he many paintings and murals that have since been archived.

"But this was the most prominent one," said Carol Rehtmeyer, president and CEO of the Corpus Christi museum. "The one that was available for kind of a repositioning into a new home.”

Since this is a decorative piece that was taking up much space in their collections area, the museum has the ability to donate the artwork.

“It's not one of our archival items, it's not part of our artifacts that we keep into the museum," Rehtmeyer said. "It's a decorative item. Therefore, we have the ability to move it to a new location."

Because the mural is huge and delicate, one option for transferring the mural could be by unstapling it, taking it off its wooden frame and then rolling it to be reassembled in Austin, Rhetmeyer said.

Although the museum is disappointed to see the artwork leave, officials are happy a piece of Corpus Christi will be shared in the Longhorn community.

"It's really wonderful to see that this art is going to be part of our history for many more decades,” Susser said.

The museum will be transferring the mural in the next few weeks.