Need to Know"
Bronze, Edition of 10
6' L x 40" W x 15" H
of the permanent collection of the Bedford Public Library (Bedford,
TX) and the Southeastern Regional Public Library (Gilbert, AZ).
Need to Know" Relief
Bronze, Open Edition
15 3/4" L x 9 1/4" H
Need to Know II"
sculpture fans enjoy "The Need to Know" at the Sculptureworks,
Inc. 2003 "Sculpture
Along the Trinity at Bear Creek" Sculpture Show and Sale
at the Keller Town Center in Keller, TX. Photograph by Elizabeth Loggins.
Hollis Williford with his sculpture "The Need to Know" at
the Bedford Public Library (Bedford, TX). Photograph by Karen Stallwood
as pictured in the "Dallas Morning News".
Blackman installs the nameplate next to "The Need to Know"
for its installation at the Bedford, TX, Public Library. Bob's wife
Suzanne organized fundraisers for two years to help purchase the sculpture
for the library. Photograph by Mike Lewis as shown in the "HEB
young library patrons check out the sculpture "The Need to Know"
at the Southeastern Regional Public Library in Gilbert, AZ.
and early adolescence are difficult times in the life of any individual.
They are times of acquiring of new ideas, exercise of creative imagination
and awareness of new feelings and sensitivities. Hungry minds are
developing and being re-born into young manhood or womanhood."
"Looking back on those stages of development in my own life,
it seems to have been an age of discovery with a need for excitement
and escape to adventure through books. It was a magic era of "Treasure
Island", "Huckleberry Finn", and "Call of the
Wild", classics that were to shape all my future attitudes,
both personal and professional. Reading satisfied my need for privacy,
developed my literary skills, and introduced me to the fine arts.
Somehow it was an escape mechanism for short periods of time from
the world around me that I was still too young and inexperienced
to deal with."
"I'm not saying it was a singular effort because I had help,
encouragement and guidance. I was fortunate enough to have a mother
who read to me before I could spell, a father who took me hunting
and fishing on the river and a grandfather who showed me the skills
of creation with a pocket knife while sitting around the woodpile."
"The sculpture "The Need to Know" is a sculpture
born of this childhood reminiscence. It was a time when a boy and
his dog could relax under a shade tree and still travel to all the
remote corners of the world by means of fiction, fact and fantasy.
This sculpture celebrates reading as a doorway to creativity and
"I had a professor once who said that "becoming educated
was the life long pursuit of individuals to find out who they really
are". Reading and scholarship are not the total formula; they
only reduce the number of footsteps and lessen the pain and mileage
of first hand experience."
"So I suppose this sculpture was a subtle message to children
that there is another exciting world waiting beyond video games
and Star Wars entertainment. Also, it is a plea to parents to teach
their children well; to be understanding and tolerant of their childrens'
"need to know". The only price paid is empathy, affection,
and personal time." - Hollis Williford, 1986
"The Need to Know" was originally commissioned for the
Vail, Colorado, Public Library. Other outdoor installations include:
the Loveland Public Library (Loveland, CO); the Laureate Psychiatric
Clinic and Hospital (Tulsa, OK); the Bayer Learning Center, Duquesne
University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); the Bedford Public Library
(Bedford, TX); and the Southeastern Regional Public Library (Gilbert,
Indoors, this sculpture would be a wonderful central theme to a
children's book area. The bronze is great to climb or lay against
while reading. And the bronze patina would only be enhanced by the
constant appreciation of children's hands.
the former Bedford Public Library Director (left), stands with Sculptor
Hollis Williford (center), and Bedford Public Library patron Andrea
(right), who was the catalyst for the acquisition of the sculpture
"The Need to Know" for the Bedford, Texas, Public Library.
One dark and stormy night, a mysterious patron dropped a picture
of the bronze sculpture "The Need to Know" (by Hollis
Williford) into the book drop of the Bedford, Texas, Public Library.
Although staff members from the library searched everywhere trying
to find out who wrote "Wouldn't this be a lovely addition to
the Bedford Library?" on the back of the picture, the mystery
remained unsolved for several months.
Luckily, a tip from a Bedford "Library Talk" newsletter
reader broke the case. A library patron indicated that her niece,
Andrea, had written the note on the picture. Andrea was then quickly
located and identified as the culprit. The mother of two young boys,
Andrea stated that she thought the sculpture would be a great "model
for reading" for her sons, and had thus dropped the picture
in the book drop of the library. After being identified, Andrea
graciously contributed her time and talents helping other volunteers
raise funds to acquire "The Need to Know" sculpture for
the Bedford Library.
Ann, the library's director who happened to have spent summers during
her youth at Estes Park near Loveland, CO (where Sculptor Hollis
Williford had his sculpture studio for many years), and Suzanne,
another Bedford Library patron, led a group of Bedford Library volunteers
in fundraising projects across the city. Finally, over two years
since the picture of the sculpture was first deposited in the book
drop, the library raised enough funds to purchase the sculpture.
here to return to Hollis Williford's main page.