The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993 Page: 153
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Lone Stars (Volume II): A Legacy of Texas Quzlts, 1936-1986. By Karoline Patter-
son Bresenhan and Nancy O'Bryant Puentes. (Austin: University of Texas
Press, 1990. Pp. 195. Color photographs, black-and-white photographs,
acknowledgments. $39.95, cloth; $24.95, paper.)
These two volumes celebrate the folk arts and artisans of Arkansas and
Texas. Both are beautifully illustrated and can be enjoyed by anyone who ap-
preciates fine craftsmanship. The scope of the two books, however, varies
In Arkansas Made (Volume I), Swannee Bennett and William B. Worthen, both
of the Arkansas Territorial Museum, document the furniture, quilts, silver,
pottery, and firearms of that state from 1819 to 1870. Each craft is treated in an
introduction that discusses the materials used, its markets, the merchandise
and the makers, including statistical summaries by location in the state and by
birthplace of the craftsmen. In every case but one, this is followed by a bio-
graphical appendix, giving more information about each artisan, and then an
illustrated catalog of work. The biographical section provides a core of valuable
information for future researchers. The one exception to this arrangement is
the section on quilts, which omits the statistical and biographical information
because "[u]nfortunately, throughout the nineteenth century the individual
artists were not enumerated within the census pages or touted in the commer-
cial advertisements of the local newspapers" (p. 83). True enough, but given
the quilters' names (and many of the examples shown are identified by maker),
a census listing or other information might have been found for that individual.
In contrast, Lone Stars (Volume II) focuses on the most modern of periods,
1936-1986, and illustrates the transformation of a traditional folk craft, quilt-
ing, into a modern art form. Cousins Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy
O'Bryant Puentes have continued their documentation of Texas quilts and
quiltmakers begun in Lone Stars (Volume I) (University of Texas Press, 1986),
which covered the period ending in 1936. Each two-page spread includes a
photograph of the quilt, along with information about it: the pattern, its
source, occasion for which the quilt was made (if appropriate), along with bio-
graphical information about the quilter and her picture, if available. Many of
the quilts are traditional patterns; others have been embellished by the maker
or are original designs. Chronological coverage is skewed with more than half
the quilts shown dating between 1980 and 1986. The book beautifully illus-
trates the answer to the authors' initial question: "Why, then, do women con-
tinue to make quilts when machine-made bedding is so inexpensive and so
readily available?" (p. 21).
The two books share one important theme: a sense of nostalgia for the past
in which these arts were practiced and a modern appreciation for the skill with
which surviving examples were made. Together, the two provide a valuable
source of information for the historian and an exciting visual experience for
any reader interested in folk arts.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, periodical, 1993; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/179/: accessed May 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.