The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 148

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ends. I don't think Mr. Cheeseman wrote it that way. As a final touch, the press
reset the dedication page and misspelled the dedicatee's name.
At least a reader can derive some merriment from trying to find all the mis-
takes in the front matter-it could be a new parlor game. Less humorous is what
has been done to the overall production values of the original book. Published
by Thomas Crowell in 1953, it was a pleasant if ordinary example of trade print-
ing in its time. Its modest qualities have been diminished considerably in the
A&M reprint. The format has been reduced from six by nine inches to five-and-
a-half by eight-and-a-half inches, a trivial economy that has ruined the propor-
tions of the text on the page. Worse has been done to Toni Frissell's famous
photographs. In the original they were decently printed on coated paper. In this
reprint they have been badly printed on the same uncoated stock as the text, re-
sulting in muddy images that lack any highlight or detail.
We should be grateful for small favors: they didn't reset the main text, a per-
sonal look at life on the ranch which remains a very good read. And they did
supply the volume with a fetching dust jacket, to boost sales. The book will no
doubt sell well, but if university presses can profit from this sort of publishing,
the joke is on us.
Historic Ranches of Texas. By Lawrence Clayton. Paintings byJ. U. Salvant. (Austin:
University of Texas Press, 1993- Pp. 93. Acknowledgments, introduction,
artist's notes, bibliography. ISBN 0-29271-154-9. $24.50.)
This large-format book is an unabashed tribute to some of the more notewor-
thy Texas ranches. Of the dozen featured, most are in northwest Texas and the
Panhandle. Only the ranches founded by Richard King and Francisco Yturria
represent South Texas. Two more, the Y.O. and Iron Mountain ranches, are in
the central region of the state, the latter being west of the Pecos.
Hzstonc Ranches of Texas, though containing some readable text, showcases
twenty-four full-color plates. They, not the supporting descriptions, seem to be
the main reason the book was accepted for publication. Artist J. U. (Joan) Sal-
vant confesses that the only "live animals" she saw in her large-metropolitan-area
upbringing were either neighborhood pets or at the zoo. One supposes that her
zoo did not exhibit cows and horses. As her watercolors deal mostly with build-
ings and seldom with livestock, this limitation is not too noticeable. Her paint-
ings of the headquarters, bunkhouses, and other structures associated with these
historic ranches are passable, if not inspiring, art. It helps if one is partial to
burnt sienna (a rust-red tone), which dominates Salvant's palette and gives her
Texas scenes a decidedly monotonous look. Perhaps her most dramatic picture
is of the sprawling King Ranch hacienda with the original house "ghosted" in the
sky above the present building. Capturing the spirit of bygone days is a tricky
business, involving nebulous qualities like "soul," "flavor," and "essence," not just
technique. Personally, I prefer the calendar art of Don Collins when it comes to
work of this sort.



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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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