Sculptor Glenna Goodacre died peacefully at her home in Santa Fe on Monday evening after a series of illnesses. A Santa Fe resident since 1983, Goodacre had an international reputation but is most well-known for the Vietnam Women’s Memorial installed in Washington, DC on the National Mall in 1993 and for the Sacagawea U.S. Dollar first minted in 2000. Her largest piece is the massive Irish Memorial cast in 2002 for Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.
Glenna Maxey was born on August 28, 1939 in Lubbock, Texas, and knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist. She was encouraged by her parents Homer and Melba Maxey who were creative, second-generation builders and developers in Lubbock. After high school, Glenna moved on to study art at Colorado College where she met her first husband William Goodacre. Upon graduation in 1961, she returned to Lubbock to begin her career as a prolific painter in addition to being a wife, a great cook and hostess, and the mother of two children Jill and Tim. Her first small bronze sculpture was cast in 1969 by Forrest Fenn, who at the time had a foundry and gallery in Lubbock. In 1973 when Fenn opened his eponymous gallery in Santa Fe, Goodacre’s art was on display from the first day. Nedra Matteucci purchased the gallery from Fenn in 1988 and continues to exhibit Goodacre works of every scale.
Glenna shifted her career from painting to sculpture, moving to Boulder, Colorado, in 1974 to raise her children and to be closer to Art Castings foundry in Loveland. After her divorce in 1983, Glenna moved to Santa Fe. She had visited New Mexico for years as a child with her parents, who had a cabin on the Pecos River. Glenna also made many trips to Santa Fe and Taos as research for her art. She married Dallas, Texas attorney C L Mike Schmidt in 1995. Schmidt’s family in Texas also had a cabin on the Pecos but he and Glenna didn’t meet until much later in Santa Fe. After they were married, together they built a cabin on the Pecos. They also had a home for several years in the Park Cities area of Dallas, Texas, and a home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Glenna famously built or remodeled a number of studios around Santa Fe on Arroyo Tenorio, Camino Del Monte Sol, Upper Canyon Road, and Camino Del Norte, among others. She enjoyed close friendships with several local artists and collected many of their works. An enthusiastic traveler, Glenna visited China, Russia, Africa, Guatemala, Mexico, and made many trips to Europe. Her home is filled with artistic treasures gathered in her travels.
Among hundreds of honors and awards, Goodacre received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from her alma mater, Colorado College in 1994, and she received in 1996 an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University in her hometown of Lubbock.
In October, 2016, because of failing health, Glenna Goodacre announced her complete retirement from sculpting, casting bronzes, and making public appearances. She destroyed her lost-wax foundry molds and gifted her clay, sculpture tools, art books, and studio equipment along with four sculptures to the New Mexico School for The Arts, an arts- based charter high school in Santa Fe.
Glenna was preceded in death by her parents Homer and Melba Maxey, and by her sister Carla Maxey. She is survived by her husband C L Mike Schmidt; her son Tim Goodacre, wife Denise, their children Isabelle and Joe Goodacre; her daughter Jill Goodacre Connick, husband Harry Connick Jr., and their daughters Georgia, Kate, and Charlotte Connick; her stepchildren Ben Schmidt, wife Dee Anna, their daughter Emily Schmidt; Wendy Schmidt wife of stepson the late Michael Schmidt, their children Parker, Blake, Ben and Reagan Schmidt; Catherine Snyder, husband Stephen and their daughters Annabelle and Gracie Snyder.
Memorial contributions in Glenna’s honor can be made to the Glenna Maxey Goodacre Scholarship Fund at the Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation. For online donations, donors may visit Memorial donations made by check should be made payable to Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation and mailed to Kappa Alpha Theta Foundation, 8740 Founders Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46268. Donors should indicate that the donation is in memory of Glenna Maxey Goodacre and designated to the Glenna Maxey Goodacre Scholarship Fund. Donors can also include a name to send notification of the gift.
In keeping with Glenna’s wishes, there will be no memorial services.