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Harold Holden

OSU Alumni Association inducting Harold T. Holden into the OSU Hall of Fame

Friday, January 12, 2024

Media Contact: Will Carr | OSU Alumni Association | 405-744-5370 |

Harold T. Holden of Kremlin, Oklahoma, is one of four honorees being inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame. 

The OSU Alumni Association is hosting the induction ceremony Friday, Feb. 2, at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

Induction into the OSU Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed by the university. It recognizes alumni and former students with outstanding lifetime achievements in society and professional life. 

Holden attended OSU for one year before attending the Texas Academy of Art in 1961. He then pursued a career in the commercial art field. 

Primarily known as a cowboy artist, Holden captured the West in sculptures and paintings for more than 50 years. His works can be found across Oklahoma and beyond, from the Oklahoma State Capitol to a United States postage stamp. His 25th public sculpture — a monument of Frank “Pistol Pete” Eaton — will be placed on the OSU campus in 2024. This will be Holden’s fourth monument for OSU preceded by the “We Will Remember” Kneeling Cowboy, Barry Sanders, and T. Boone Pickens. 

In 2001, Holden received the Governor’s Art Award from Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Sculpture Society. He received the OSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005 and was elected to membership in the Cowboy Artists of America in 2012. 

In 2014, Holden was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, and in 2017, he was the first Oklahoma Artist to be inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. He was the recipient of the James Earle Fraser Sculpture Award at the 2020 Prix de West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and received the Ray Swanson Award at the 2020 Cowboy Artists of America Show. 

Holden was known for his attention to detail, particularly regarding the horses he sculpted and painted. He enjoyed team roping in his free time, and along with his cousin, Jeff Holden, he raised and raced quarter horses. He attributed his love for horses to his father, and his art career was encouraged early on by his grandfather, George E. Failing. 

Holden and his wife, Edna Mae, lived near Kremlin, Oklahoma. Harold was a member of the OSU Alumni Association. 

This year’s other inductees include Calvin J. Anthony, Gary C. Clark and Dr. Dennis R. White. 

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