Biography

 

HAROLD T. HOLDEN, or "H" as he is called by many, was born in Enid, Oklahoma. Although "H" was the first professional fine artist in the family, he comes from a family of creative and talented inventors and engineers. In 1915, his great- grandfather George Failing invented the machine that creates the bottle cap that is still used on beverages today. His grandfather, oil pioneer George E. Failing, invented the first portable drilling rig, as well as numerous drilling bits, still used in the industry. "H" credits his love of horses to his father who was an avid horseman.

 

Primarily known as a cowboy artist, “H” has been capturing the West in sculptures and paintings for over 35 years.  While his work can be found in the Oklahoma State Capitol and on a U. S. Postage Stamp, his public sculptures have kept him busy the last few years with 20 monuments completed in the last 20 years. With public art in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas, H dedicated 4 additional works of art in 2007 during Oklahoma's Centennial year. His largest piece to date, a life and one half sculpture of a pioneer family entitled "The Homesteaders" was dedicated in Enid, Oklahoma in September and his larger than life "World Champion" Quarter Horse was unveiled at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds in Oklahoma City in November of 2007.  He has completed and dedicated two of three castings of "The Ranger" a life and one quarter bucking horse for Northwestern Oklahoma State University with campuses in Enid, Alva and Woodward and has also completed his 6' standing sculpture of Oklahoma's own Will Rogers as "The Cherokee Kid" which is at Rogers State University.  On August 28, 2011 his 6’ bronze entitled “Thank You Lord” was placed at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma.

 

H. working on "Holding the Claim"

(Photo by Herman Kokojan)

"H" received the lifetime achievement award from the Oklahoma Sculpture Society and also was inducted into the Mountain Oyster Club as a lifetime member in 2000.

In 2001 H received the Oklahoma Governor's Art Award from Governor Frank Keating.

 In 2005 he was honored with the Oklahoma State University's Distinguished Alumni recognition. (Photograph courtesy Genesse Photography)

He was voted in as a Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society in 2004.  Current shows include the Masters of the American West, Prix de West Invitational Art Show and Sale, Gilcrease Rendezvous and Cheyenne Frontier days to name a few. H was featured on the cover and in the Fall 2007 Oklahoma State University “State” magazine and completed a one man show at the Oklahoma State University Foundation in January 2008.  In 2007 he was featured in a one man show at the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction and was a featured artist at the 2009 American Royal Art Show in Kansas City. H was featured in a one man retrospective at the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Center in Oklahoma City from August through November 2010 and in September 2010 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Art at the annual American Culture Awards in Lubbock, Texas.

H's largest painting to date is a 5 foot by 8 foot oil painting of western Oklahoma which hangs in the Oklahoma State Capitol.

He is currently working on his life and one quarter monument of former slave turned U.S. Deputy Marshal “Bass Reeves”, which will be placed in Ft. Smith, Arkansas in May of 2012.  This will be the first equestrian sculpture to be placed in Arkansas.

H lives near Kremlin, Oklahoma with his wife Edna Mae.  His work can be seen at www.hholden.com.

  Original drawing by Carrie Ballantyne

 

Commissions:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
National Cattlemen’s Association
United States Postal Service
Oklahoma Historical Society
Oklahoma Centennial Commission
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
Ranching Heritage Center
Oklahoma Arts Council
City of OKC – Will Rogers World Airport
Oklahoma State University
National Bank of Commerce
Archer Daniels Midland Company
Cutter Dan’s Products
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma Baptist University
Air Force Association
Ft. Smith - Bass Reeves Legacy Foundation
World Series of Team Roping

Awards:
Honorary Lifetime Member – Mountain Oyster Club
Professional Member of the National Sculpture Society - 2004
Oklahoma Governor’s Art Award - 2001
Lifetime Achievement Award, Oklahoma Sculpture Society-1997
Addy Award – 1973
Distinguished OSU Alumni Award – 2005
May Fair Arts Festival Celebrated Artist – 2006 - Norman, OK
Best of Show – Working Ranch Cowboy’s Association
Director’s Trophy – Working Ranch Cowboy’s Association

Featured Artist –Cattleman’s Western Art Show-CA. 2001                        
Featured Artist – Grand Junction Art Center - 2007                        
Featured Artist – American Royal Art Show – 2009
Featured Artist – Gaylord Pickens Museum -2010
Cowboy Culture Award – 2010

Representative Shows:
Prix de West – Oklahoma City, OK.
Masters of the American West – Los Angeles, CA.
Cheyenne Frontier Days, - Cheyenne, WY.
Gilcrease Rendezvous – Tulsa, OK.
Mountain Oyster Show – Tucson, AZ.
Trappings of the American West – Flagstaff, AZ.