The San Diego History Center has acquired eight sculptures by the esteemed San Diego artist Donal Hord.
The work, which will be put on exhibition May 24, is from the estate of local art collector Richard Dyson.
Dyson and his partner, Robert Roberson, ran a flower shop in La Mesa and were early collectors of Hord’s work.
According to Hord’s obituary, “the collection also included paintings by the Spanish-Mexican painter Antonio Rodriguez Luna…as well as watercolors by Millard Sheets, Frederic Whittaker, and Win Jones.”
While the sculpture was left to the History Center, much of the art work, according to the obituary, was left to the San Diego Museum of Art.
Hord, who was part of the Federal Art Project in the 1930s, produced a number of works that have become local icons. His sculpture can be found at the County Administration Building (“Guardian of the Waters”), Balboa Park (Woman of Tehuantepec,” in the House of Hospitality courtyard), San Diego State (“Aztec,” reportedly the source of the school’s mascot), Marina Park (“Morning,” near Seaport Village) and the San Diego County Library (two “Literature” panels on either side of the main entrance).
The San Diego History Center presented a 1999 exhibit on Hord’s work and published a catalog.
“We’re honored to be the recipient of this gracious donation from the Dyson-Roberson estate,” said Charlotte Cagan, the History Center’s executive director in a statement. “Donal Hord is a treasured local artist whose works now will be shared in perpetuity with the San Diego community.”
“The Sensual Sculpture of Donal Hord: Gifts from the Dyson-Roberson Estate” will run through Sept. 20.