Texas State Senator Matthew Gaines - CODAworx

Texas State Senator Matthew Gaines

Client: Texas A&M University

Location: College Station, TX, United States

Completion date: 2021

Project Team

Granite base creation & installation

Tony Watson

Watson Monument

Project Director

Catherine Hastedt

Texas A&M


Texas State Senator Matthew Gaines was elected during reconstruction. As a formerly enslaved child, who taught himself to read with books smuggled to him by a white friend, Gaines felt that education was very important. By pushing legislation for land-grant colleges, he helped germinate Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M Universities.


This is the first full-length portrait monument to a person of color on the A&M campus. The school wanted to show him as an active supporter of higher education, and so he was placed on a stepped granite base with one hand out to help the generations that followed him up the same path.


The Matthew Gaines Society on campus was heavily involved in selecting and approving both the sculptor, and the final depiction of Sen. Gaines.