Born in St. George in 1942 and raised near Salt Lake City, Utah, Clyde Ross Morgan's innate artistic ability began emerging in his early grades of elementary school. His sense of perspective astounded his art teachers as he drew what he saw rather than the stick-like symbols so typical of other youngsters his age.
Morgan's love of art stayed with him as he was growing up but his sense of form and design was expressed in a field other than art. Industrial design became his vocation and he invented, fashioned, and patented a multitude of products. His work brought him both success and recognition, yet all the while, he dreamed of a different career ... that of a sculptor.
Finally, in 1983, Morgan made the break and moved to the artists' community of Sedona, Arizona. In his new studio and foundry, he began creating, in bronze, subjects that have long held his fascination and often relate to his own personal experiences. "River-running" is the one activity for which he'll admit an obsession. His admiration for history's noted explorer and river adventurer, John Wesley Powell, inspired him to create "SOCKDOLAGER", a remarkably detailed and historically precise piece commemorating Powell's passage down the Colorado River in 1869.
In 1986, Clyde Ross Morgan won the commission to create Utah's Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Entitled "...BUT NOT FORGOTTEN", this study sensitively reveals the intense emotion of its subject. In 1989, this one and a half times life statue was placed and dedicated at the Utah State Capitol.
In 1987, Morgan was featured in a Southwest Art magazine article. He was subsequently featured in numerous other magazine and newspaper articles along with several television interviews.
In 1996, Morgan completed a monument of heroic size that was placed in the city of Tucson, Arizona. Dedicated by Mormon Church President, Gordon B. Hinckley, this commission commemorates the first displaying of the American Flag in Tucson by the Mormon Battalion in 1846 as well as a peaceful exchange between two cultures; the Mexican community and the Mormon Battalion.
Another competition won by Morgan was a bust of Henry Wickenburg placed outside the Wickenburg City Hall. Recently, Morgan completed a heroic size bronze of Wickenburg resident, Everett Bowman, father of the PRCA and Arizona’s only All-around World Champion Rodeo Cowboy in 1935 and 1937. The statue of Bowman and his mule is also located outside the Wickenburg City Hall.
In 1999, the City of Flagstaff, Arizona held a competition for public art about the history of transportation in the area. Morgan’s winning entry of a railroad worker entitled “Gandy Dancer” is slightly larger than life and was dedicated in October 2000.
In July of 2001, Morgan was unanimously selected from a field of national finalists by the City of Kannapolis, N.C. to create a heroic size bronze statue of the late Dale Earnhardt, champion Nascar driver. This 9 foot tall statue was installed and dedicated in October, 2002.
In August of 2001, Morgan won a commission in his hometown of Sedona. The city of Sedona invited artists from across the nation to enter a public art competition for a larger than life-size bronze about the history of Sedona. Morgan’s subject, a cowboy artist, pays tribute to the beauty of the Sedona area and to the founding of the Cowboy Artists of America (Sedona, 1965). Dedicated and installed, October 2002, Sedona, Arizona.
In June of 2002, Morgan was selected from a group of four national finalists to create a larger than life-size bronze sculpture of Scottsdale’s late Mayor Herb Drinkwater. This work was dedicated and installed on May 10, 2003 in the Scottsdale Cultural Park.
Morgan won the public art competition for Arizona’s Iraqi War Memorial in January 2004. His work "Enduring Freedom" will be placed at the State capitol. For more on this work in progress, visit the Enduring Freedom's site.
Morgan realistically portrays his enthusiasm for history, the emotion of human existence and the events of his own life in his bronzes. A lifetime of experience enriches Morgan bronzes with the quality of truth that can only come from having "been there". His passion for history is demonstrated in his endless quest for "the rest of the story" -- the little known things that help bring a piece of sculpture to life.
His commitment to creating bronzes that are not only historically and anatomically correct but also reflect the variety of the human experience is the hallmark of Morgan's work.
Morgan's sculptures are nationally and internationally acclaimed and are in both private and public collections around the world.