The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984

Book Reviews

The catalogue raisonne section of the book is invaluable. But one
mystery remains: what happened to the paintings exhibited in the
Denver Art Museum in 1966? Is it possible that there is a lost collec-
tion of Miller paintings?
Warder H. Cadbury's all-too-brief essay on Miller's chromolitho-
graphs is interesting, as much for what it does not say as for what it
does say. Why, for instance, did Miller take the trouble to illustrate
the works of Charles Wilkins Webber and not the novels of William
Drummond Stewart? And what were the exact circumstances of the
making of Miller's chromolithograph of Lost on the Prairie? Surely
this is one of the more important chromolithographs, and very proba-
bly a great rarity, since the only copy this reviewer has seen is owned
by the Joslyn Art Museum.
In general this whole book is an extraordinary work of immense
value to scholars of American art. The authors, the Walters Art Gal-
lery, and the Amon Carter Museum are to be commended for pro-
ducing what is indeed a landmark work.
The University of Texas at Austin WILLIAM H. GOETZMANN
Cowboy Life on the Texas Plains: The Photographs of Ray Rector.
Edited by Margaret L. Rector. Introduction by John Graves.
(College Station, Tex.: Texas A8cM University Press, 1982. Pp.
119. Acknowledgments, introduction, photographs. $19.95.)
This book has only one major problem: it cannot be reviewed
while one is riding on a crowded airplane. Its many photographs at-
tracted considerable attention from surrounding travelers, all of whom
were fascinated with the wonderful views of West Texas cowboy life.
Ray Rector, who once cowboyed himself, worked from 1902 until
his death in 1933 in Stamford, Texas, as a photographer. Because of
his fondness for ranch life, he documented many scenes on the nearby
SMS and other West Texas ranches. This book contains eighty-eight
of his more than one thousand images housed at the University of
Texas Humanities Research Center in Austin.
Rector's photographs present an honest view of the pre-World War
II cowboy. Although they lack the artistic quality of Erwin E. Smith's
classic range-life images, the pictures reveal both the romantic and
rugged character long associated with ranch life and scenery. Particu-
larly notable are views of "Scandalous" John Selmon, various pictures
of ranch women, and a 1931 Ranger camp at the Texas Cowboy Re-
union, an event that Rector helped to establish.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed September 18, 2014.