Leonard Doyle McMurry

Class of
Leonard Doyle McMurry

Leonard Doyle McMurry

“You don’t copy. You analyze. Part of its design, part character, part dignity, and part likeness. It has to end up with a monumental quality.”
Leonard McMurry, 1982


Born on a cotton farm in Texas, Leonard Doyle McMurry began painting at an early age, but was self-taught until he entered Washington University, Missouri and received a degree in Fine Arts. After serving in World War II, he was accepted in 1949 as a student at Syracuse University. After moving to Oklahoma City, he became one of the nation’s outstanding sculptors, especially well-known for large monuments. Among his works are the 89’er monument, the Air Force monument, and the statues of Wiley Post and Stanley Draper in the park near the Civic Center in downtown Oklahoma City. He created the statue of Admiral and Mrs. John Kirkpatrick located at the Science Museum Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, the Dean Monnet monument at the OU Law School in Norman, and sculpted busts of nine famous Native Americans for the National Hall of Fame for Famous American Indians in Anadarko, as well as many of the busts on exhibit at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum.

Fun fact

When Leonard McMurry finished his Praying Hands sculpture at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, it was the biggest casting in the world. The fingers are 20 feet long and hands reach 60 feet into the air. His statue of Buffalo Bill Cody at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City became the largest equestrian statue on the North American continent.

Oklahoma connections

McMurry came to Oklahoma City in 1955.


Oklahoma City








Relevant Exhibits

Culture on the Prairie

Culture on the Prairie

This exhibit features ten Oklahoma Hall of Fame inductees whose civic contributions defined Oklahoma’s early cultural community and helped establish many of Oklahoma’s museums during the twentieth century.