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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983

Book Reviews

of Indians, and the Mexican War, believed in Anglo-Saxon, or Cauca-
sian, superiority, and the New England historians, George Bancroft,
John L. Motley, William H. Prescott, and Francis Parkman, exalted
the Anglo-Saxon character of the American people.
By devoting uncommon attention to the phrenologists and ethnolo-
gists who encouraged (often innocently) racial arrogance among Amer-
icans, and by delving into such matters as the religious conflict between
the advocates of monogenesis as told in the book of Genesis and those
who came down on the side of polygenesis (the majority), Horsman
adds fresh and significant detail to a subject of major importance.
The inconvenient organization of the endnotes makes the lack of a
bibliography the more regrettable.
New Mexico State University GENE BRACK
Texas Folk Art: One Hundred Fifty Years of the Southwestern Tradi-
tion. By Cecilia Steinfeldt. (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1981.
Pp. 302. Acknowledgments, introduction, illustrations, notes, bib-
liography, index. $150.)
In recent years there has been an explosion of published material on
the arts in Texas, including Pauline A. Pinckney's book on nineteenth-
century painting in Texas, James Patrick McGuire's works on Carl G.
von Iwonski and Julius Stockfleth, William W. Newcomb's study of
Friedrich Richard Petri, and Cecilia Steinfeldt's book on the prolific
Onderdonk family. Long known through travel accounts and history,
Texas is now becoming known through the work of the artists who vis-
ited and lived in the state.
Early Texas, like other frontier areas, did not excel in the fine arts.
Recent scholarship has shown that the hundreds of pictures of nine-
teenth- and early twentieth-century Texas conform to Frederick Jack-
son Turner's assessment of frontier art as "essentially lacking in the
artistic." In this beautifully illustrated work, Cecilia Steinfeldt, curator
at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, calls attention instead to the
crafts tradition that flourished primarily in the European-settled areas
of the state. (Once again, the cultural debt that we owe these immi-
grants is apparent.)
Untutored and untrained in the fine arts, these men and women had
the desire to create charming and beautiful works-pictures, sculp-
tures, pottery, carvings, models, metalwork, and quilts-that show the
vitality and energy of nineteenth-century Texas far better than the
work of more famous artists. William G. M. Samuel and Louis Hoppe
provided careful views of San Antonio and rural Texas that are simply


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 6, 2016.

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