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Medellin, Octavio, 1907 or 1908-1999



Prolific Mexican-American sculptor, Octavio Medellín, was born in San Luis Potosí in 1907. His father was of Otomí heritage and brought his family to San Antonio, TX, in 1920. Medellín studied at The Art Institute of San Antonio, and in 1928, and continued his education at The Art Institute of Chicago. His dedication to the study of Mexican art, style, cultures, and history brought him back to México in the early years of his career. In 1931, he began teaching sculpture at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, where he and other artists opened La Villita Art Gallery. Medellín spent six months in 1938 documenting the ruins of Chichén Itzá and Uxaml in a series of sketches recorded in his “Maya-Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938.” A dedicated educator, he taught throughout his career at the North Texas State Teachers College, which is now the University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, and at the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts School, also opening his own school, the Medellin School of Sculpture, in 1966.

Medellín organized the Texas Sculptors Group along with Dorothy Austin, Evalline Sellors and Allie Tennant, and was awarded an honorary life membership from the Texas Fine Art Association. His broad repertoire includes work in numerous materials and techniques, including ceramics, glass work, mosaic, bronze casting, wood, in addition to sketches and sculpture. Prior to his passing in 1999, Medellín and his family donated much of his collection to Southern Methodist University in 1989.

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Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Octavio Medellin papers

Identifier: AAA 5503
Dates: 1932-1979
Scope and Contents

Archives loaned by Medellin to be microfilmed for the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art Texas Art Project.