Pompeo LbNA # 51251
|Owner||Lone Star Quilter|
|Placed Date||Oct 30 2009|
|Location||San Antonio, TX|
|Last Found||Jul 18 2015|
|Last Edited||Sep 14 2015|
Pompeo Luigi Coppini grew up in Florence, Italy, where he was a student at the Accademia di Belle Arte and there studied under Augusto Rivalta. On March 5, 1896, Coppini immigrated to the United States with very little money and no knowledge of English. On February 27, 1898, he married Elizabeth di Barbieri of New Haven, Connecticut; he became an American citizen in 1902. Coppini, hearing of Frank Teich's search for a sculptor, moved to Texas in November 1901. He was commissioned to model the statue of Jefferson Davis and other figures for the Confederate monument (1901-03) subsequently erected on the Capitol grounds in Austin. Other Texas commissions followed, one of the best known being the Littlefield Fountain Memorial (1920-28) at the University of Texas at Austin. Coppini also modeled the equestrian monument to Terry’s Rangers, and the bronze doors of the Scottish Rite Cathedral in San Antonio (dedicated 1926). One of his best-known works is a statue of George Washington in Mexico City (1911). Coppini lived and worked in San Antonio until 1916, when he moved to Chicago for financial reasons. Three years later he moved to New York City to facilitate the production of the Littlefield Fountain Memorial. He was assisted on this and other major projects by sculptor Waldine Tauch, who began studying with Coppini in 1910 and continued to work with him as his colleague and foster daughter until his death. In 1937 Coppini established a studio at 115 Melrose Place in San Antonio in order to work on a major commission for the Texas Centenniel, the cenotaph to the heroes of the Alamo (1937-39) on Alamo Plaza in San Antonio. Other Centennial commissions awarded to Coppini were the commemorative half-dollar (1934) and the Hall of State bronze statues of Stephen F. Austin, Thomas J. Rusk, William B. Travis, James W. Fannin, Mirabeau B. Lamar,qqv and Sam Houston (1935-36). Coppini's contributions to the state were recognized in 1941, when he was awarded an honorary doctor of fine arts degree by Baylor University. Recognition and appreciation of his work extended to Italy, for in 1931 he was decorated "Commendatore" of the Crown of Italy for his contribution to art in America.
Coppini is represented in the United States by thirty-six public monuments, sixteen portrait statues, and about seventy-five portrait busts. When expressing his own attitudes toward art and sculpture, he often criticized modernism, which he attributed to a general lack of screening of pupils in art schools. He thought that art training should be a regular branch of learning in a university, with strict standards that would assure adherence to classic and academic artistic traditions. He emphasized the importance of individual instruction from experienced artists. From 1943 to 1945 he was head of the art department of Trinity University in San Antonio. In 1945 he and Tauch cofounded the Classic Arts Fraternity in San Antonio (renamed Coppini Academy of Fine Arts in 1950). Coppini died in San Antonio on September 26, 1957, and was buried in Sunset Memorial Park in a crypt of his own design. He was survived by his wife and his foster daughter. The San Antonio studio now serves as a museum of Coppini and Tauch's work.
Directions: Sunset Memorial Park is located on the old Austin Highway (Hwy. 368) at Eisenhauer Road in San Antonio. Going south on Austin Highway, turn right at Eisenhauer Rd. then right into the cemetery. Drive straight ahead and you’ll see the large relief monument on the right. Park there and admire the self-portrait of Pompeo and his wife. Waldine Tauch is also buried here.
To the box: Drive on past the next intersection and park next to the curb where a line of trees and a hedge meet to form a sharp corner. Reach into the point formed by the short metal wall/curb to find the box, under rocks.