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

Book Reviews

gration movement in the Southwest before the 1954 Brown decision?
A discussion of these and other questions would have cast Mother
Angelique and her institution in a broader framework and enabled
the reader to evaluate the author's contention that Mother Angelique
helped "build Our Lady of the Lake University into one of the most
outstanding educational institutions in the Southwest" (p. 82).
University of Maryland SAUL BRONDER
H. W. Caylor, Frontier Artist. Introduction by Joe Pickle. (College
Station, Tex.: Texas A8cM University Press for the Heritage Mu-
seum, Big Spring, 1981. Pp. 124. Photographs, color plates.
$29.50.)
The popularity of western art has brought about the "rediscovery"
of a number of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century artists.
That many of these artists should remain in oblivion (at least from the
standpoint of any aesthetic claims) does not seem to concern many
authors and presses today, yielding volumes such as this, devoted to an
artist whose charm does not outweigh his inadequacies.
The stated purpose of this book is to "see [H. W. Caylor] accepted
as one of the important painters of the American West" (p. 7). Joe
Pickle lends little support for this claim, praising instead the artist's
authenticity and devotion to the Old West, which he wanted to pre-
serve. Caylor's major appeal seems to be that he lived in West Texas
for four decades and was patronized by the local ranchers, whose fam-
ilies still cherish his works today. Despite this support he was not very
successful, and ended his life in a small house with "cramped, poorly
lighted [painting] quarters" (p. 22), debt having driven Caylor and his
wife from their previous home.
Caylor had little formal artistic training, notwithstanding an attempt
to study with Frederic Remington, and this clearly shows in his work,
which lacks a good knowledge of anatomy and perspective. His was not
a naive vision, however, and he viewed himself as a professional artist,
exhibiting and winning prizes in regional shows.
This book is primarily a picture book, with fifty-three color repro-
ductions, each of which carries a paragraph describing the West por-
trayed, or a bit of history about the painting's owner. Here lies the
value of the work, for we learn about life in West Texas from the
189os through the 192os and glimpse the role art played in recording
that life. As such, this volume preserves an important part of Texas
history.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/. Accessed April 20, 2015.