Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

William M. McVey Sketches

Manuscript Collection: MC197

Collection Summary

Creator: McVey, William Mozart, 1905-1995
Title: William M. McVey sketches
Dates: circa 1937-1938
Abstract: Eight drawings by William McVey of the scenes carved on the friezes of the San Jacinto Monument.
Identification: MC197
Quantity: 10 items
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

William Mozart McVey, noted sculptor, was born in 1905 in Boston, Massachusetts. He moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he studied art at the Cleveland School of Art, later known as the Cleveland Institute of Art. Prior to completion of his degree, he seized the opportunity to play football for Rice University’s coach John Heisman, on full scholarship. Three years later he returned to Cleveland to complete his degree.

McVey studied sculpture in Paris and returned to Cleveland in 1932. That same year he began his first teaching job at the Cleveland Museum of Art and married Leza Marie Sullivan. From 1935 through 1953, McVey taught at the University of Texas at Austin and at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.

After he served in World War II, McVey returned to the Cleveland Institute of Art where he headed the sculpture department. McVey died in 1995. His lasting legacy can be found amongst several highly regarded sculptures including numerous works in Cleveland, on the Rice University campus, at the Houston Museum of Art, and the friezes at the base of the San Jacinto Monument which depict eight important episodes in the history of the Republic of Texas.

Scope and Content Note

The William M. McVey sketches include eight drawings by William McVey of the scenes carved on the friezes of the San Jacinto Monument, drawn between 1937 and 1938. Included with these sketches are envelopes which housed these drawings. Sketches include two completed illustrations of the San Jacinto Monument frieze with each image labeled and six sketches consisting of the Fannin and Travis frieze and the “Coming of the Pioneers” frieze which has a numbered and lettered grid.


Arrangement is alphabetical.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

McVey, William Mozart, 1905-1995, artist
San Jacinto Memorial Monument (Houston, Tex.)
Texas--History--Revolution, 1835-1836--In art.
Graphite drawings
Ink drawings

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], William M. McVey Sketches, MC197, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Thelma Fletcher, Anson Jones Press, November 1981.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa M. Lomas, 2012.


"William McVey." Cleveland Arts Prize.


box folder
173.2 1 Envelopes undated

box folder
173.2 2 Sketches undated: circa 1937-1938