Artwork in Texas and Beyond
The Regionalist movement began in the early 1930s when a group of Dallas artists created an exhibition at the Fair Park Dallas public Art Museum called “Nine Young Dallas Artists”. While Winn was part of this exhibition, he is often excluded from talks of the Dallas Nine today, perhaps in part because his work was often destroyed. Winn’s artwork was big, like the state of Texas itself. He created murals in and on buildings and when businesses closed or buildings were torn down many times his art went with it.
Buck Winn returned to the United States in 1929 and opened an art studio in Dallas with several friends from school. They called their group the Pearl Street Gang. His first major commission was in 1933 when he was hired to create a mural for the interior walls of the Village Theatre in Highland Park. Winn's mural depicted a key moment in early Texas history, LaSalle stepping ashore in 1685.
The next project Winn worked on was with Eugene Savage in Ossining, New York. Savage had been hired to create a mural for the 1936 Texas Centennial Hall in Dallas. He and a virtual army of assistants created the mural in New York and then assembled it on the walls of the hall in Dallas. In addition to working on the mural, Winn also created the 20-foot diameter golden seal in the Hall of State. Winn also created bas relief friezes depicted westward expansion on the base of the obelisk.
The smallest work of art Winn created was in 1945 when his entry won the honor of becoming the design for a three-cent stamp commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Texas statehood.
Other works completed by Winn in Texas include two murals at the Gonzales Memorial Museum (1938), a bas relief sculpture at the River Oaks Theater in Houston (1939-1940), Hillcrest Mausoleum in Dallas (1940-1941), bas relief earth at the Tele-News Theater in Dallas (1941), a mural made from at least twelve different types of wood at the Mercantile National Bank in Dallas (1944), and the Magic of Flight bas relief in gold leaf at Amon Carter Field in Ft. Worth (1953).
Outside of Texas, Winn created a history of Louisiana mural for the Commercial National Bank in Shreveport, Louisiana (1940) and two carved ceramic murals at the First National Bank of Arizona in Phoenix (1954-1955). Winn's final commission was a wood mosaic created for the Commercial Bank in Little Rock, Arkansas (1970).