San Diego, Calif.—San Diego History Center (SDHC) is the recipient of eight sculptures created by celebrated artist, Donal Hord (1902-1966). The artwork is a donation from the estate of local art collectors, Richard Dyson—who passed away in January 2013—and his partner, Robert Roberson of La Mesa (1999). The two were early advocates of Donal Hord’s work and the collection represents some of the sculptor’s most acclaimed privately-held works.

SDHC will showcase these recent acquisitions in a new exhibition titled, The Sensual Sculpture of Donal Hord: Gifts from the Dyson-Roberson Estate which will run from May 24 – September 20, 2013.

Donal Hord was considered one of the most preeminent American sculptors by many in the national and local art community during the early to mid-20th century. At the time Hord was the only local artist to become a full Academician of the National Academy of Design and a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society.

Hord preferred Direct Carving, a process which involves only the carver, the tools, and the medium and shuns the use of working from a drawing. The carver takes inspiration from the medium’s lines and angles, allowing the material to dictate the form and represents a return to the direct approach used in primitive art. Hord worked mainly with hard materials like jade, onyx, and granite in stone and rosewood, mahogany, and lignum vitae in woods.

“We’re honored to be the recipient of this gracious donation from the Dyson-Roberson estate,” said Charlotte Cagan, executive director of San Diego History Center. “Donal Hord is a treasured local artist whose works now will be shared in perpetuity with the San Diego community.”

Hord’s public art can be seen today at Balboa Park’s House of Hospitality, in front of the entrance to the Prado restaurant, at the County Administration Building, the current San Diego County Library, San Diego State University, and in Seaport Village.

To learn more about the works of Donal Hord, please visit our digital online archives.

San Diego History Center which also operates the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park, is dedicated to helping people of all ages learn about, and enjoy, the history of San Diego, and to appreciate how our past, present, and future are interrelated. The History Center was founded in 1928 and is one of the oldest and largest historical organizations in California. It is one of only a handful of institutions nationwide that is dedicated to celebrating the heritage of a major American city.