The Brady Standard
17 October 1969
Take one of the greatest living sculptors.
Then take one of the figures of history she admires most. Take a college of which the sculptor feels herself to be an integral part.
Add a commission from that college to do an heroic-size bronze statue of that figure in history.
That's what masterpieces are made of.
Dr. Waldine Tauch's eight-foot, six-inch statue of General Douglas MacArthur, in front of Howard Payne College's Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom is her masterpiece.
"We knew," HPC president Dr. Guy D. Newman said, "that Dr. Tauch was the person we wanted to do the statue…we also think that it is her masterpiece."
Dr. Tauch, a fellow of the National Sculpture Society and former Bradyite, chose MacArthur's most famous posture to depict in the statue-his return to the Phillippines.
Dedication of the statue of the General striding ashore on Leyte will come just two days short of the 25th anniversary of that much-heralded event. For it occurred on Oct. 20, 1944.
There's a lot that could be said about this particular statue, Dr. Tauch stated work on it back in 1966.
Then, when it was finished, it was sent to Italy for casting. And a strike there kept it lying in its shipping crate on the dock for weeks.
The widow of the late general will unveil the statue atop its granite base in Saturday, Oct. 18.
It will be the fruition of a lot of hope and work and dreams for a lot of people, including literally thousands of school children in Texas who contributed their nickels and dimes, washed cars, got involved in all kind of money-raising projects under the leadership of their student councils to help pay for the statue.
This gigantic project was carried out by the late Jack Mashburn of Midland, a director of the Academy of Freedom, who worked with the public school student councils of Texas.
Let’s go back a bit with the story.
So you're a sculptor and you get a call from a college president like Dr. Tauch did from Dr. Newman, telling her she had been selected to do the bronze statue of General MacArthur.
What do you do?
Do you rush out and buy a big chunk of bronze and sharpen up the chisels?
It’s not done that way at all.
It all starts with a great deal of research-like poring over measurements from an Army physical examination of the general made about the time of Leyte return. And like reading all you can get your hands on about the man. And like studying pictures and his various articles of clothing you can borrow.
First a drawing must be made. And then a small clay model, Major General William C. Chase of Houston, who served under MacArthur, and Mrs. Dallas Sherman of New York, a close friend of the late general and his wife, both visited Dr. Tauch in her studio, along with Academy Chairman Othal Brand of McAllen, to view the small model. They made a few suggestions.
Then the hard work started-like the plumbing work.
"You have to be a plumber and a carpenter both to be a sculptor," Dr. Tauch explains. "First you have to build a frame from pipe and flanges and wood-to scale. Then cloth is stretched over the frame, and the clay work begins. And you need to know a lot about anatomy about this time, too."
But why anatomy, when statues are made with clothes on?
Says Dr, Tauch, "The statue must first be made in the nude, and then the clothes are put on."
After the clay or plastalina work is finished, a plaster cast is made of the statue, and from this cast the bronze state is finished. The plastalina is removed from the original work, and will be used again on another statue.
There are only a few firms in the world that can cast into bronze a statue the size of the Academy's MacArthur. When Dr. Tauch finished her clay work, she chose the Italian studio.
General Mac Arthur's sculptor has felt close to Howard Payne for many years. She was awarded a Doctor of Fine Arts degree in 1941. She grew up on a ranch near Brady, and her outstanding talent was discovered early. Her first work to attract attention was a piece of sculpture in butter that was exhibited at a fair in Brady when she was a small girl.
When she finished high school, several ladies who were members of Brady's Tuesday Club, including the late Mrs. Sam Hughes, a Howard Payne College benefactress, arranged for the young girl to study under the late Dr. Pompeo Coppini, in San Antonio, a young Italian sculptor who rose to prominence.
Later she became Dr. Coppini's protégé. Since the death of Dr. and Mrs. Coppini, Dr. Tauch has lived in her apartment in the Coppini Memorial Academy of fine Arts in San Antonio and has maintained her studio there.
For a number of years Dr. Tauch has been active in Howard Payne alumni circles in San Antonio.
The MacArthur statue is not the first Tauch work for Howard Payne. Her bas-relief of the late J.A. Walker hangs in the Walker Memorial Library on the campus.
Among the better known Tauch works in Texas are the Texas Rangers in Love Field in Dallas, a statue of the late Mayor R.L. Thornton of Dallas in Fair Park there, a statue of Moses Austin in City Hall Square ion San Antonio.