The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 218

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

about the real or imagined patriotism that displayed Roosevelt por-
traits and NRA posters; about dress styles and advertising. One might
even want to argue with the premise of both the text and afterword
that posture and placement of figures are indicators of social stratifica-
tion or yearning ambition (pp. 51-52, 137).
That one wants to know more measures the success of the book.
Viewers will not only scurry to magnifying glasses for enlargement of
the evidence the photographs present, they will surely encourage the
author, herself a photographer and teacher, to continue mining the re-
sources of the period.
The Desert Is No Lady: Southwestern Landscapes in Women's Writing and Art.
Edited by Vera Norwood and Janice Monk. (New Haven, Conn.:
Yale University Press, 1987. Pp. xii+281. Acknowledgments, intro-
duction, conclusion, illustrations, notes, index. $29.95-)
This important book is the first attempt at an overview of women's
artistic response to the southwestern landscape. The book's central
question-what has the landscape meant to Chicanas, American Indian
women, and Anglo women of the region between 188o and i98o?-is
apparently simple. But the editors and their twelve essayists under-
stand that the relationship among women, art, and the land is complex,
with political, cultural, economic, psychological, and historic as well as
artistic elements. They also owe, and acknowledge, a debt to Annette
Kolodny's ground-breaking examination of pioneer women's percep-
tions of the frontier, The Land before Her (1984).
By focusing on artistic expression, this book reveals the diversity of
women's responses, which include not only diaries and journals, but
also fiction, poetry, storytelling, photography, painting, rug weaving,
silversmithing, pottery and basket making, woodcarving, land art, and
more. They touch on such issues as the effects of urban growth and
increasing Anglo presence on aesthetics, personal expression, and eco-
nomic survival, how concepts of landscape itself differ, and how artistry
can also involve self-creation. Artists range from the internationally ac-
claimed to those who are known within a town, neighborhood, or tribe.
The book is also methodologically diverse, ranging from the sole-
subject approach of literary critic Judith Fryer's essay on Willa Cather
to the geo-cultural analysis of forty Hispanic artists in three states writ-
ten by Marianne Stoller. The authors are themselves Hispanic, Anglo,
and American Indian. Perhaps necessarily in a work that introduces so
much new material, the essays are ethnically segregated: the first five


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.