Dale Claude Lamphere

Sculptor Dale Claude Lamphere has completed over fifty major public commissions from the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., to the Eisenhower Medical Center and the City of Burbank in California. Recent creations have been placed in Chicago, Kansas City, Colorado Springs, and Edmond, Oklahoma. 

His work explores a broad range of materials and subjects from monumental landscapes, to human forms, to abstract. After 40 years, Lamphere still finds natural forms an enduring inspiration that evoke in him a distilled and elegant response. The common thread that runs through his work is the lyric gesture and full volume that he sees in his mountain and prairie environment. Lamphere has received the Anna Hyatt Huntington Award and many honors for creative achievement. His body of work includes both classic figurative and contemporary sculpture. 

Lamphere has created numerous portraits of individuals including Burl Ives, George McGovern, and Bob and Dolores Hope.

Over 40 years ago, as a student, I traveled by ship to 18 countries around the world on a college program now known as Semester at Sea. Each port had major museums containing creations that recorded the character and consciousness of the society. My childhood on a Great Plains ranch was filled with the making of utilitarian objects and midway on the voyage, the two connected and I found my vocation. Upon returning I began my artistic journey by creating what I knew. Wagons, windmills, old stone houses and people of the prairie were first, created with fragments of wood, canvas and metal. These assemblages led to a 1972 show at the Hancock Center in Chicago, a photo and article in the Chicago Tribune, and culminated in a 20’ x 9’ commission for Stanley Home Products corporate headquarters in Massachusetts.  Next I explored the prairie landscape, sculpted in metal, canvas and stone. These grew into massive commissions: 3’ x 40’ for the National Cemetery Service and 5’ x 60’ for a regional bank system. 

I longed for something more immediately expressive and began working with clay, soon moving to cast bronze. Native American friends were my first subjects and resulted in a body of work and show at the A.B. Clossen Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Prairie Edge Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I began a continuing study of the human form that led to dozens of life size figurative sculptures and gave me an opportunity to create and cast perhaps the largest stainless casting of its time, the 27’ Resurrection for the Archdiocese of Omaha.   A series of fortuitous events led to a portrait of Burl Ives, and then Bob and Dolores Hope, Walter Annenburg, George McGovern and others until now, over dozens of life size portraits later, I find myself fascinated by the challenge. 

Through the Hopes, I had the opportunity to design and create a two-room chapel and several sculptures at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. I began to see recurring lyric gestures, certain textures and volumes. I’ve always believed that style should grow out of the process, so I began to distill it down to the gesture, looking for grace and simple elegance of line. I found that it existed all around me in windswept prairie grasses and the meander of a river.  The natural process of water, and wind, and erosion became my study and my expression. Increasingly, I find myself working with found objects, creating a context that supports and clarifies, and creating a dialogue.  Discovery is still my primary experience. New ideas, insight, faces, stones, materials and processes continue the impulse I felt so many years ago. 


  • City of Burbank, CA;
  • Benson Park Sculpture Garden, Loveland, CO;
  • Archdiocese of Chicago, IL;
  • City of Edmond, OK;
  • Eisenhower Medical Center, Palm Springs, CA;
  • Basilica of the National Shrine, Washington, DC;
  • Fenske Media, Rapid City, SD;
  • St. Francis Medical Center, Colorado Springs, CO;
  • National Cemetery Service, Washington, D.C.


  • Our Lady of Hope Chapel, Basilica of the National Shrine, Washington, D.C., Architectural Design and Supervision, 1993
  • Prairie Edge, Founder and primary design and prototype creation, 1980-1983
  • Old West Trails Foundation, Design Consultant, 1980


  • American Artists Professional League, New York City, New York
  • Salmagundi Club Juried Sculpture Exhibit, New York City, New York
  • National Sculpture Society, 52nd Annual Exhibition, New York City, New York
  • John Hancock Center, Bonwit-Teller Sponsor, Chicago, Illinois


  • Sculptural Workshop, Ridgeview, Denver, Colorado, 2003
  • Sculptural and Environmental Design Instructor, Black Hills State University, 1978-1979
  • South Dakota Arts Council, Artists in the Schools Program, 1979-1981
  • Black Hills Waldorf School, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, 1980-1981
  • Human Anatomy and Design, Private Studio Classes


  • Governor’s Awards in the Arts, 2013
  • Journey Museum, Board of Directors, 2003-2006
  • South Dakotans for the Arts, Board of Directors, Past President, 2002-Present
  • South Dakota Arts Council, Appointed by Governor Mickelson, 1989-1992
  • National Governors’ Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement Nomination, 1990
  • Anna Hyatt Huntington Award, American Artists Professional League
  • Outstanding Creative Achievement Award, Rapid City Fine Arts Council
  • Outstanding Creative Achievement Award, South Dakota Art Museum
  • Induction into South Dakota Hall of Fame, 1987