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Relief Sculpture (1440 pixels)

About The Coppini

Coppini Academy - Biography



501c3 Non Profit, est.1945
115 Melrose Pl., San Antonio TX, 78212


Pompeo Coppini and Waldine Amanda Tauch busts (1440 pixels)


The Coppini Academy of Fine Arts, located in San Antonio, Texas, is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of representational art. Founded in 1945 by Pompeo Luigi Coppini, an Italian-born sculptor renowned for his public monuments, the academy has become a beacon for artists who value classical techniques and realistic representation in their work. Coppini's vision was to create a space where artists could hone their skills in a supportive environment that emphasizes the technical and aesthetic principles of traditional art forms.

The history of the Coppini Academy is deeply intertwined with the artistic legacy of its founder. Coppini, who immigrated to the United States in the late 19th century, left an indelible mark on American art through his numerous public sculptures and monuments, including the iconic Alamo Cenotaph in San Antonio. His dedication to art education and his belief in the importance of representational art led him to establish the academy, which has since nurtured countless artists. A significant figure in the academy's history is Waldine Tauch, Coppini's protegé. A prominent sculptor in her own right, Tauch continued Coppini's legacy after his death, ensuring that his vision for the academy lived on. She was instrumental in teaching and mentoring new generations of artists, reinforcing the academy's mission and solidifying its reputation as a premier institution for representational art.

Coppini also played a pivotal role in establishing Fiesta San Antonio, a celebration that has become a cornerstone of the city's cultural identity. Coppini, known for his significant contributions to art and sculpture in Texas, helped transform the San Antonio Spring Carnival into the modern-day Fiesta by gathering funders and supporters to establish the Knights of Omala. This group, whose name was "Alamo" spelled backward, evolved into the Order of the Alamo, which now presents the annual Coronation of the Fiesta Queen.

Coppini Academy to Sell Replicas of Founder's Original Fiesta Medal, San Antonio Report

Coppini's influence extended beyond the arts into civic engagement, as he also contributed to the beautification of San Antonio by promoting the construction of sidewalks and other public improvements. His legacy in San Antonio is deeply intertwined with the city's historical and cultural fabric, underscoring his importance not only as an artist but also as a community leader.

The academy champions the value of traditional art techniques and the study of the human figure, landscape, and still life. It aims to foster a community of artists who are committed to mastering these techniques and to promoting the appreciation of realistic art in a contemporary context. Through its educational programs and community outreach, the Coppini Academy continues to inspire artists and art lovers alike, ensuring that the rich heritage of representational art remains vibrant and relevant in today's artistic landscape. Waldine Tauch's influence, alongside Coppini's foundational principles, continues to be felt, underscoring the academy's dedication to high standards of artistic excellence and its role in preserving classical art traditions.



Founder, Pompeo Coppini



Waldine Tauch


Waldine Amanda Tauch (1892-1986)

A sculptor whose preferred media was bronze, Waldine Tauch was born in 1892 in Schulenburg, Texas, moving to Brady, Texas as a teenager. She evidenced talent at an early age, drawing from photographs. As a seven year old, she began to sculpt, using clay, then carving chalk, soap, wood and stone. As a teen, The Brady Tuesday Study Club asked her to sculpt a luncheon centerpiece of butter. This group then supported her talent by raising money for Tauch to study in San Antonio with Pompeo Coppini, which she began in 1910, two weeks before high school graduation.



"Spirit of Sacrifice" Monument

Coppini Academy of Fine Arts is the birthplace of the "Spirit of Sacrifice" Monument to the Alamo heroes. Coppini built this studio in 1936 when he received the commission for monument honoring the fallen heroes of the Battle of the Alamo

The Spirit of Sacrifice Cenotaph Monument






The "Spirit of Sacrifice" Monument



Coppini Academy - Biography




President:  Tom Ellis

1st Vice-President: Vic De La Fuente (Security; Grounds)

2nd Vice- President  Kim Clark

Secretary/Parliamentarian:  Jeanie McCraw

Director, Finance/Treasurer: Treasurer or Terri Rubiola

Director, Trust Management:  Carolyn Minshew

Director, Children's Programs:  Karen McCauley

Director, Marketing/Communications/Mebership/Exhibitions Overseer:  Marcy Rossi

Director, Workshops: Sandra Esparza

Director, Studio Operations: Chris Calk

Director, Development: Phyllis Scrivano


Member-at-Large:   Glen Clark

Member-at-Large: Joseph Bravo (Exhibitions Chair) 


2023 Chair Positions

Legal Consultant:  Michael Repka, Attorney at Law

Model Coordinator:  Carl Rachuig

Newsletter: Marcy Rossi