Spirit of the Centennial

Fair Park is one of the underutilized gems in Dallas. Other than the few weeks of the Texas State Fair – the art deco wonderland goes neglected – shunned by most folks. I love to ride my bike down there and hang out – looking at the art. One of my favorite (among many) works is the sculpture Spirit of the Centennial, in front of the Woman’s Museum.

Spirit of the Centennial, Fair Park, Dallas

From Dallas City Hall:

Spirit of the Centennial Sculpture was designed by Raoul Josett and Jose Martin to sit in front of the Hall of Administration building (now the Women’s Museum). Carlo Ciampaglia designed the mural that serves as a backdrop to the sculpture, also titled Spirit of the Centennial. The woman featured in the sculpture has been a source of controversy with two different women claiming to have been the model. There is dispute over whether the model was Marry Ellen Bensterdt, a Duchess and 1930’s model, or the wife of K. Keiser, a big band leader during that era. Raoul Josett and Jose Martin also designed the Fish Fountain Sculpture, depicting flying fish swimming over a reflecting pond, which sits in front of the building. Stashka Star recreated renovated the Spirit of the Centennial mural and sculpture in 1998 and John Dennis recreated the Fish Fountain Sculpture in 2000.