Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.)
E. Grace Ward
I should like to make an attempt to get at that spiritual essence possessed by Mr. Stagg. We all have our own particular qualities in this respect, but Mr. Stagg is truly one of our great men today, and to discover what lies behind his greatness is to make the problem of registering his strength that much clearer.
Mr. Stagg stands for something conceded to be great force in American athletics. His code of living, playing, and fighting, and his lifetime spent in guiding young men according to his standards for these activities, have stamped him as a veritable monument in the eyes of our youth. There is strength in the name Stagg, strength in the man, and in the eyes that watch so keenly as boys continue to pass under his tutelage. This strength is moral, a kind of pillar lacking in the structure of many so-called successful men who grew into power during Mr. Stagg's years. He has never compromised his position when opportunities for doing so were plentiful. I should like to make one further point. This is in relation to the material. The medium used is Jarrah wood. It is hard enough to suggest strength, red enough to imply warmth, and yet soft enough to be in sympathy with the generosity of the man portrayed. Stone is cold. It would be more suitable to a portraiture of a Rockefeller, certainly not a Stagg. Wood is a material that comes from a growing life-form, rooted in the ground. It takes its strength gradually as the years roll by. What better choice of medium could be made?
At this point the reader may or may not agree with me when I say that the diverse pattern of mental gymnastics undergone by the artist demands more understanding than the observer of his work can fathom. Aside from the psychological and philosophical relationships there are the technical aspects of the creative effort. These latter consideration will be found in the text of the paper. Mr. Amos Alonzo Stagg was the model chosen for the sculpture. The choice was prompted by Dr. Tully C. Knoes who was to have been the subject for the study. Dr Knoles preferred that his close friend and fellow worker, Mr. Stagg, be selected. At this point it became necessary to develop the preliminary sketches for the purpose of deciding upon a composition suitable to the dimensions of the wood.
Reynolds, Richard Henry. (1942). Amos Alonza Stagg in wood. University of the Pacific, Thesis. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/1019