The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 116
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
need. The book well deserves the La Bahia Award it has won, and the
honor of having been selected by the History Book Club.
Austin, Texas ROBERT S. WEDDLE
Texas Furniture. By Lonn Taylor and David B. Warren. (Austin: Uni-
versity of Texas Press, I975. (Pp. xiv+200. Illustrations, appendix,
notes, glossary, bibliography, index. $20.)
When Miss Ima Hogg died in the summer of 1975 at age ninety-three,
she represented the last of a distinguished line. Her father, the first native-
born governor of Texas, was allied with the reform movements of his era
and laid the foundation of the family fortune at Spindletop. Her brothers
built on that foundation to become business leaders of the state, while Miss
Ima, who survived the other members of her immediate family by a genera-
tion, earned the title "First Lady of Texas" for her taste, style, and phi-
lanthropies. Her interests ranged the gamut from antiques to mental health,
so she cannot be simply categorized. Yet, it is not too much to say that
she was to the cultural history of Texas what her father was to the political
and her brothers to the economic history.
This book, a project of the last decade of her life, is a by-product of
her interests. A connoisseur of American furniture, she chose the rare Bayou
Bend Collection which she gave to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts;
and, proud of her Texas heritage, she restored several nineteenth-century
Texas homes, among them Varner-Hogg Plantation and Winedale Inn.
The two interests came together when she noted the distinctive characteris-
tics of Texas furniture crafted before the factory replaced the cabinetmaker.
Sturdy, utilitarian, often crude but sometimes ornate, the furniture had a
charm of its own.
Convinced that the furniture had not attracted the attention it deserved,
Miss Hogg acted with her customary directness. She enlisted the assistance
of Lonn Taylor, curator of Winedale Inn, and David B. Warren, associate
director of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and began a listing of early
Texas cabinetmakers and a search for representative examples of their work.
This handsome book is the result of that collaboration.
The text includes a perceptive sketch of the society that produced the
furniture and a discussion of the craftsmen, their tools, methods, and
materials. More than two hundred items are pictured and described in
detail; and more than eight hundred and fifty cabinetmakers are included
in an annotated checklist. In addition, maps pinpoint the centers of furni-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/134/?rotate=90: accessed April 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.