CHRIST RELIEF and TEXAS RANGER


 

No two pieces show the two phases of Sam’s art more impressively than the Christ relief of 1969 and Texas Ranger of 1977.  As pointed out in Artist and Art, the relief was commissioned by the Newman Center at the University of Montana in Missoula.  Unfortunately, it was destroyed by vandals, and this image is not very good.  According to one review, Texas Ranger was begun in 1972, but not completed until 1977.  It is almost five feet tall and one of the last pieces Sams completed before he quit producing art in 1979.  The relief emphasizes molding while the Ranger displays remarkable glazing and detail.