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 Texas : Architecture / Images : Statues
Going for the Bronze

Italian-born Texas Sculptor
ENRICO FILIBERTO CERRACCHIO

&
The Equestrian Statue: Sam Houston
Hermann Park
Houston, Texas

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Sam Houston Equestrian Statue Houston TX
Cerracchio's best-known sculpture is the 40 foot bronze equestrian figure of Sam Houston at the entrance to Hermann Park. The statue cost $ 75,000 when it was put in place in 1925.
Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, January 2007
Cerracchio was born in Naples, Italy, on March 14, 1880, he started forming figures in clay before he was seven years old. His Godfather noticed his talent and encouraged it by destroying the boy's efforts and then locking the boy in a room with fresh clay. He was told to duplicate the pieces to win his release - which he did. He studied both academic subjects and sculpture at the Institute Avellino in Italy.

After graduating in 1898 he continued his studies in sculpture under the acclaimed sculptor Rafael Belliazzi. When Enrico reached his 20th year, Belliazzi told him his life was "in his hands" since he could teach him nothing more.

In 1900 Cerracchio immigrated to the United States and after a miserable 3 month period in New York where he worked as a laborer, he moved to Houston - a region his doctor had recommended for his asthma. He became a naturalized citizen in 1905 and two years later married Marion Kowalski of Shamokin, Pennsylvania.

His address in Houston was in the 3500 block of Audubon Street.

Cerracchio preferred working in bronze or marble and he was first publicly noticed after World War I when he made two "Doughboy"statues. One was presented to the Italian government, and the other was presented to Gen. "Blackjack" Pershing by the City of Houston.
John Wharton bust
The bust of General John Wharton in the Texas State Cemetery
TE Photo, 2001
Austin has two other works of Cerracchio. One is a marble bust of Governor "Ma" Ferguson (1926) in the State Capitol, and the other is a bronze bust of General John A. Wharton, located in the State Cemetery.
Cerracchio also made busts of John Nance Garner, Jesse H. Jones (Houston Developer), Albert Einstein, and Rudolf Valentino. He was living in New York City when he died in 1956.

General Sam Houston Equestrian Statue Plaque
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This page last modified: February 1, 2007