Civic Art



  • Number: 1030
  • Artist: Whitney, Mac
  • Title: Houston
  • Date: 1981 (Inscribed)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Steel, Paint
  • Dimensions: 50' x 25' x 18'
  • Foundry/Fabricator: Artist
  • Location/Environment: Stude Park, Studemont @ White Oak Bayou, Outdoors
  • Provenance: Purchased by the City of Houston with Community Development Funds

Historical Background

Mac Whitney enrolled in the master of fine arts program at the University of Kansas in 1967. Whitney developed a method of casting large acrylic sculptures in pressurized vessels.

Around 1974, Whitney began to combine steel and acrylic and in 1975, he produced his breakthrough steel sculpture that marked the emergence of his mature style, Super Chief. The Houston piece was commission by the City of Houston in 1979, with community development funds.

Physical Description
Houston is a massive ¾ inch thick, smooth surfaced, steel sculpture painted red and weighs approximately 50,000 pounds.

Houston was ultimately installed at Stude Park in 1982.

The abstract sculpture rests on four “feet”. Two elongated steel arcs connect the base and the upper portion of the main body of the sculpture (along the diagonal) on both sides. A thin diagonal beam is welded to the upper point of the ½ arrow, resulting in a longer top diagonal line of the main body, creating a sculpture that is an impressive 50 feet tall. The largest leg is inscribed with the artist's signature (WHITNEY) and date (1981).

Restoration / Conservation
Houston was restored in 1998.

Click each photo below for full-sized versions

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