Professional Resume

Duke Sundt


Advanced Studies in Monumental
Sculpture with George Lundeen

Scottsdale Artist School 1986

Bachelor of Fine Arts

New Mexico State University 1971

Publications on sculptural work:

Magazines / Newspapers / Books / Radio

  • Western Horseman Magazine (2003)
  • Albuquerque Journal (1986)
  • New Mexico Magazine (2000)
  • Las Cruces Sun News (1986)
  • Western Horseman Magazine (1991)
  • Time Magazine-photo (1986)
  • The New Mexican (1990)
  • Austin American Statesman (1983)
  • Sports Illustrated Magazine-Cover (1990)
  • SW Airlines Magazine (1983)
  • The Dallas Morning News (1987)
  • Chronicles of the Horse (1980)
  • The Roswell Daily Record (1987)
  • Santa Fean Magazine (1977)
  • "Contemporary Western Artists" (1983)
  • Paul Harvey Radio Show (1989)


2019Private commission to create life size Whitetail Deer with twin fawns
2019Installation and dedication of the Gold Star Mother's monument entitled "The Hands That Held the Child" at the Veterans Park in Albuquerque, NM
2017Received commission by the New Mexico Chapter of Gold Star Mother's to create a life size figure of a mother who has lost a child serving in the United States military
2015Received commission by Gates Mineral Company to create life size standing portrait figure of A. E. Gates for new office building in San Antonio, TX
2014Dedication of Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument
2013Received commission to create a memorial honoring Albany, TX rancher, Bob Green
2012Received commission to create a "Lobo" award for UNM Swim Team
2010Received commissions to sculpt two figures for French Mortuary, a life size "Lobo" and a bas relief of a large "Story Teller" figure
2007Received commission to design and create Texas Capitol Vietnam Veterans Monument in Austin, TX
2006 MayReceived commission to design and create NM Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Distinguished Agricultural Contribution award.
2006 FebruaryReceived commission to sculpt a larger than life size portrait bust of Richard "Pancho" Padilla by the City of Las Vegas, NM and his wife, Geraldine Padilla
2005 April"Two Champs" portrait commission of Professional Bull Rider Michael Gaffney making his 2004 championship ride on the bull, Little Yellow Jacket
2005 FebruaryMemorial dedicated to three men who were natives of Albany, TX with outstanding military records. The monument has a bas-relief portrait bust of each man with a corresponding plaque describing their military history.
2003 SeptemberInstalled "Ojito" - Half life size cowboy watering horse and is incorporated into a water fountain. Client: Koldyke family, located at private residence in Las Vegas, NM.
2000 MarchCompleted "Pronghorn Antelope" - Half life size bronze antelope. Client: Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ. Installed on main campus.
1992 AugustCompleted entry gate with two-sided bas-relief life size "Javalinas." Client: Dr. Will Maldonado. Located at private residence in Scottsdale, AZ.
1988 OctoberInstalled "The Traders" - 1.2 life size tri-cultural bronze monument depicting trade in New Mexico circa 1850. Client: New Mexico State University's College of Business. Located on main campus.
1987 OctoberDedication of "Counting the Stragglers," 1.2 life size portrait of WWII B-17 bomber pilot, Major Bill DeSanders. Client: New Mexico Military Institute and Mrs. Bill DeSanders. Located at DeSanders Memorial Plaza on NMMI campus in Roswell, NM
1986 OctoberDedication of "Korean Armor Officer" and "Back From Patrol" life size bronze memorials representing the Korean Conflict and the Viet Nam war. Client: New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM. Located in DeSanders Memorial Plaza.
1986 MayDedicated bronze sculpture of "Hugh Milton II," 1.2 life size portrait. Client: United Council of Veterans of Dona Ana County, located on NMSU main campus in Las Cruces, NM.
1985 OctoberDedication of WWI "Parade Rest" and WWII "Infantry Soldier" life size bronze memorial figures. Client: New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, NM. Located in DeSanders Memorial Plaza.
1983 SeptemberInstalled "Texas Longhorn" - 1.2 life size bronze monument. Client: Student organizations, the Texas Wranglers and the Silver Spurs at the University of Texas at Austin, TX. Installed on main campus.

Sculptural Awards / Recognition:

2022Received the 2022 Rounders award for his art that illustrates the Western way of life
2006 MarchSelected by Fredericksburg Artists' School to teach two workshops per year, one week in Fredericksburg, TX and one week in Rociada, NM.
2002 November"A Presence From the Past" is purchased by the Tucumcari Art Museum for their permanent collection.
1990 Spring"National Anthem" placed in NM State Capitol permanent collection


One Man / Two Man Shows

  • Tito's Gallery - One man show Las Vegas, NM 2002
  • New Mexico Governor's Gallery -Duke Sundt & Bettina Steinke Santa Fe, NM 1981

Invitational Juried Group Art Shows

  • Mountain Oyster Western Art Show Tucson, AZ Annual
  • Mesa Verde Foundation Show & Auction Durango, CO Annual
  • New Mexico Cattle Growers Art Show Albuquerque, NM Annual
  • New Mexico Governor's Gallery Show Santa Fe, NM 1988
  • New Mexico Cowboy Classic Art Show Albuquerque, NM 1981-1991
  • Texas Art Gallery Show Dallas, TX 1982
  • Philbrook Museum Sculpture Show Tulsa, OK 1979

Artist's Biography

Duke Sundt

     The son of Harald S. and Roberta Sundt, born in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas on June 9, 1948. Duke was the youngest of four sons.

     His given name is Robert Harald Sundt (which he often refers to as his I.R.S. name). As a child, his father nicknamed him "Duke" and it stuck.

     Duke didn't spend much time in Kansas, only six months to be exact. This was typical of the life of an "army brat." While his father was still in the military, Duke's family lived in a number of places, however the last station of his father's duty was to have the greatest influence on Duke and his future career as a sculptor. Between the ages of nine to thirteen, his family made their home in Copenhagen, Denmark. Duke's exposure to museums, art galleries, and outdoor monumental bronze sculpture in every city park, left a lasting impression which he firmly believes, led him to pursue a career as an artist specializing in bronze sculpture. At the age of thirteen, the Sundt family left Europe and moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico where his older brother, Chuck was attending New Mexico State University. The southwest, rodeo cowboys and Chuck's "guidance" moved Duke into a new phase of his life he refers to as "the rodeo years." For the next seven years, Duke traveled the rodeo circuit, riding bareback broncs, saddle broncs, and bulls, finding encouragement to continue with an occasional trip to the pay window. He entered college at NMSU in 1966 as an engineering student but soon found that the engineering field wasn't his calling, as he much preferred rodeoing, drawing cowboys and sculpting papier-mache figures depicting rodeo events. In the first semester of his junior year, he transferred into the fine arts department. In the art program, Duke continued to pursue western themes in his art projects and felt he was specifically attracted to sculpting. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in sculpture in 1971.

     Armed with his new fine arts degree, Duke showed up for a job he had procured near Santa Fe in the early winter of 1972 only to learn the foundry that had hired him had burned in a fire just days before. Later he gratefully took a job as a ranch hand and moved his family to Watrous, NM. This journey proved to be exactly what he needed to give him time to find a direction and to figure out what he wanted to say through his art. He knew he wanted to illustrate the contemporary American cowboy in a realistic representational style. Being especially dedicated to telling a good story in three dimensions often with a humorous twist has been his aim in much of his work.

     Since those early years, he has created numerous monumental commissions, life size and larger than life size subjects ranging from southwestern to military themed sculptures. Throughout his 45 year career as an artist, Duke has continued to depict the American cowboy and wildlife of the southwest in his smaller limited edition bronzes.

Artist's Statement

     I have had a dual career in art and ranching since graduating from college in 1973. My art subjects often reflect my experiences with ranch life and working with livestock. I enjoy the diversity of opportunities the lifestyle allows me to pursue. Managing several different ranches on the outskirts of Las Vegas, NM for thirty-five years has supplied me with a wealth of stories to tell in three-dimensional sculpture. Most of the body of my work has dealt with contemporary western Americana, wildlife of the southwest, and some historical themes involving American Indians. I prefer a representational style of sculpting my subject matter. Accuracy of detail in my work is as important to me as the story I’m telling in a sculpture. I want the cowboy's tack and gear to be right and true. I believe it was this attention to detail that led me to be the artist chosen, in 1982, to sculpt a heroic size longhorn steer for the University of Texas at Austin, TX. The primary focus of this monument was to recognize the significant role longhorn cattle played in the historic development of Texas and the west. In 1985, I received the commission to sculpt four life size military soldiers representing four American wars since WWI for the campus at the New Mexico Military Institute. Again, my attention to realism in detail was what the selection committee was looking for. At the end of the project, funds became available to do a fifth soldier in the scale of 1.2 life size for NMMI.

     Being the son of a military man, I was raised an "army brat" until the age of thirteen. My father, a 1932 West Point Military Academy graduate, was posted in Copenhagen, Denmark for four years in his last station of duty prior to retiring. The heroic bronze sculptures throughout the city, the many museums and art galleries my father and I visited left such strong impressions on me. My father's influence with a soldier's point of view and my natural interest in military history impacted my desire to sculpt military subjects. In 1989, I completed a monument for New Mexico State University called "The Traders." The tri-culture piece is based on commerce in territorial New Mexico circa 1850. I greatly enjoy the historical research required on all the monuments I have done. In 2007, I was commissioned to create a 1.2 life size monument, which is a tribute to Texas Vietnam Veterans that presently stands on the state capitol grounds in Austin, Texas.

     Working on ranches in northeastern New Mexico has given me the opportunity to meet very knowledgeable people in the ranching business that all taught me something I could apply to my artwork while always keeping an eye out for the humorous aspects in ranching life for my subjects.

     I am so fortunate to have been able to spend my life pursuing my passion to document the cowboy life of the American west in sculpture. God gave me the good sense to follow my natural instincts to be a sculptor and the wisdom to know that this gift is a blessing.

New Mexico Magazine Article

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