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Lumen Martin Winter

Lumen Martin WinterArtist, sculptor. Born: December 12, 1908, Ellery Illinois. Died: April 5, 1982, New Rochelle, New York.

Born in Ellery, Illinois, Lumen Martin Winter's family moved near Larned in western Kansas, when he was three. The family ranch was located along the Santa Fe Trail and the young Winter could gaze out and see the ruts made from years of passage on the trail. These Kansas landscapes and the history of the trail would later play an important role in his artwork. Winter became a sculptor, painter, and mosaic artist, but he was most well known for his murals.

Winter attended the Cleveland School of Art, the National Academy of Design in New York City. Winter settled in 1939 in Santa Fe, working as a cartoonist and designer. He would serve as artist with the U.S. Signal Corps in the army in World War II.

In 1969 Winter was commissioned to design a mural and the official medallion for the Apollo 13 mission. Steeds of Apollo depicts four racing horses of the mythological Apollo, god of the sun. The patch shows only three horses, one for each member of the mission. The fourth horse in the mural represents Ken Mattingly, who was removed from the mission after being exposed to German measles.

In 1976 the Kansas Legislature created a committee to find an artist to complete the space in the second floor rotunda of the Kansas State Capitol, where John Steuart Curry's mural would have gone. Winter was selected to create the series of eight scenes depicting history, agriculture, industry, and education. He took care to avoid the controversy Curry had experienced, thoroughly researching Kansas history, conducting surveys, and working in his studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico, out of view of the public. The murals were unveiled in 1978 by Governor Robert Bennett.

In creating The Great White Buffalo statue on the grounds of the Kansas Historical Society, Winter took almost two years to complete the work. Made from eight tons of white Ravaccione marble, Winter's design was chosen in a competition from more than 50 entries. He died suddenly April 5, 1982, at his home in New Rochelle, New York, before the statue was finished. His son William completed the work, which was dedicated in 1983.

Winter's murals are also displayed at the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapels in Colorado Springs, National Wildlife Federation in Washington, D.C., AFL-CIO Headquarters in the U.S. Capitol, Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Lincoln Center in New York City, Sheraton Hotel Lobby, and National Bank in Washington, D.C. His mural Titans is located at the United Nations World Youth Assembly. 

Entry: Winter, Lumen Martin

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2010

Date Modified: February 2021

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.