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crossing the prairie

Glenna Goodacre (1949-2020)

Crossing the Prairie, 2001


bronze, ed. 3/11

Gift of Lulene and Arthur Oldham


Questions to consider when visiting Glenna Goodacre’s sculpture Crossing the Prairie:


  • Who is this woman?  What clues about how she is dressed, her body language, her facial expression, and what she is holding tell you about her?

  • Where is this woman?  What is the weather like there?  What is the landscape like?

  • Where do you think this woman is going?  Why?

  • Do you think she is traveling alone or as part of a group? Why?


Glenna Goodacre was born in Lubbock, Texas.  Perhaps best known for her Southwestern Native American subjects and children she says, “I was always drawing -- and always people.  All my friends would be drawing horses and animals, and I always drew people.  I did my first painting when I was ten or eleven.”  Faces and figures continue to be her preferred subjects, but she has shifted emphasis in her career from drawing and painting to sculpture.


This sculpture in particular shows a determined woman facing her future with her small child.  The title of the artwork is Crossing the Prairie, which refers to the woman’s journey to start a new life with her family.  When settlers traveled across the West, they would often walk alongside their horses and carts.  While the woman looks young, she is looking forward with a sense of accomplishment as she walks toward her goals.  

Learn more about her Art of the West collection:

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