The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982 Page: 112
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Southwestern Historical Quarterly
cheaply constructed shotgun houses is an unusual and interesting in-
clusion. The next three sections concern barns and outbuildings,
gates and fences, and methods of holding water. The last section sum-
marizes the current activities in preservation of folk buildings and
styles in the state. These last four sections are particularly welcome
additions and separate the volume from other works on Texas archi-
Chosen from a wide range of disciplines, the twenty-two contribu-
tors all show not only an in-depth knowledge of their field but also a
respect and fondness for the folk structures and the people who built
them. Abernethy sets this tone of familiarity in his preface, stating,
"Old houses-decayed, crumbling, propped-are not dead things
when you sit down and visit with them" (p. vii). Each author produces
an essay that would easily stand alone; each summarizes the historical
context of his topic, graphically describes the building or technique,
and discusses the current outlook for preservation of the particular
architectural form. Most of the essays are generously footnoted, and
the numerous photographs clarify and enhance the text. Most of the
contributors are well known in their field, having published other
works on similar topics. Others write from an immediate viewpoint of
familiarity, having been raised with the folk traditions and buildings
themselves. Thus, although the total work is certainly not a compre-
hensive statement on Texas folk architecture, it is a pleasant, readable,
evenly mixed summary of many traditions, styles, and materials that
produced Texas's folk structures. Both scholarly and popular audi-
ences should find the volume useful and interesting.
A few minor criticisms are in order. The volume needs a subtitle
or at least a shorter, more concise introduction to inform the reader
about its nature, scope, and intent. This purpose, unfortunately, is
not apparent until one has scanned the essay headings and read the
whole introduction. Several photographs are not captioned, and other
captions seem severely brief. Also, an appendix giving photograph
locations or credits would be helpful; one assumes that Abernethy
was the general photographer, although this is nowhere stated. Lastly,
no index is offered; indeed, its value might be negligible.
The book is an impressive contribution to the growing work on
Texas folklore and a worthy addition to the publications of the Texas
Star of the Republic Museum
D. RYAN SMITH
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 85, July 1981 - April, 1982, periodical, 1981/1982; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101208/m1/132/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.