Earlier this year I did a story on “Journeys of the Imagination,” a statue downtown behind the original Carnegie Library. The same sculptor also did a few pieces for Botanica. While enjoying the gardens, I discovered another great artist. L’Deane Trueblood. Her bronze pieces really captured the emotion of the children she created. Botanica is home to five Trueblood sculptures.
Special shout out to Kyle at Botanica for all his help in putting this story together.
L’Deane Trueblood was born in 1928 in Norman, Oklahoma. Her family were original territory homesteaders. She won many awards throughout her educational life.
She enrolled at the University of Oklahoma as a fashion design major, but by her second year she changed her focus to drawing and sculpture. She received her BFA from OU.
She then moved to Europe to study and travel. She worked as an illustrator and arts director for the U.S. Air Force.
It was during that time, she fell in love and married Colonel Roger Trueblood in 1952.
He was a fighter pilot in the Air Force, which carried L’Deane and their three children across the U.S., Italy, Germany and Turkey. They settled in 1973 in St. George, Utah.
While she was raising the kids, she stepped away from her art career and earned a Master’s degree in Early Education. After that she spent several years directing a Montessori preschool in Utah.
After her children began to leave home, she resumed her art career full-time.
Trueblood’s many interests also led to mountain climbing. She is recognized as the first woman over 40 years of age to climb Mount Elbe. She also wanted to climb Mt. Ararat (the believed landing point for Noah’s Ark). Officials did not think a woman could make the climb, but they allowed her to go on the excursion. Turns out she was the only person in the group to make it to the summit, and she is still one of a few women to make the climb.
Col. Trueblood passed away in 1993, he was 70 years old.
L’Deane is the proud grandmother to nine grandchildren and still lives in St. George, Utah.
Trueblood once said, “I have a strong conviction that the universe is filled with love and wonder. For me, this is a feeling that I want to communicate: This is a beautiful world, a nice place. Enjoy it!”
Check out some of Wichita’s other art pieces. How great our art