Nuevo Santander Gallery

Fine Art • Antiques • Old West Collectibles



Call: 956.618.4959

History of Cabeza de Vaca

Shipwrecked on the Texas Gulf coast and wandering through the wilderness of what is now South Texas and northern Mexico, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca and his three companions, Andres Dorantes de Carranza, Alonso del Castillo Maldonado, and a Moorish slave named Esteban, made their way through the harsh landscape of the region for eight years. In their travels, these wanderers acquired knowledge of medicinal herbs and plants from the indigenous peoples and were looked upon as healers. In one encounter in what is now far West Texas, Cabeza de Vaca was asked to remove an arrowhead from a native’s chest, performing what was the first surgery by a European on the North American continent.


This sculpture depicts the incident of that surgery, honoring this act of healing and Cabeza de Vaca himself. How odd that a Spaniard, along with three others, were the only survivors out of some 300 and after being shipwrecked thousands of miles from their fellow countrymen, were placed in a position to write history. In fact, Cabeza de Vaca wrote an account of his eight years in the wilderness.

Artist's Biography:

 Jason Scull grew up in a family that farmed and ranched and has a history of doing so for nearly 180 years in Texas.  It's that connection to the land and livestock that has influenced his art from the beginning.  From an early age he discovered that he liked the fit of saddle over that of a tractor seat and He tried to pursue one and avoid the other ever since.  Someone once said that, "there's something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man".  Jason believes this, but he has never found it to be true of tractors, posthole diggers or shovels.

     For some, making art is second nature, it's like breathing. From the time he was old enough to hold a pencil and brush or mold a lump of clay, he has never been far away from those materials.  Because of his affinity for horses, cattle and the people that work with them, they have been his subject matter of choice since he started pursuing art seriously in 1987.  Jason had the great fortune to study with some great western artists early in my career.  That, coupled with constant observation, has lead him to where he is today; sculpting horses, cows and cow people.


Tuesday-Friday: 10am-5pm • Saturday: 11am-5pm • Closed Sunday and Monday

Fine Art • Antiques • Old West Collectibles