The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981 Page: 478

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

He excelled in all these aspects of the Texas Rangers' duties. By 1940,
however, he had become bored with a desk job and asked to be re-
turned to active field duty. So he was made captain of a company and
was stationed in Dallas until his retirement in 1951.
The Malsch book, well researched and clearly written, recounts
many dramatic episodes in Texas history, such as the Santa Claus bank
robbery at Cisco, the cleanup of Borger, the burning of the courthouse
at Sherman, and the subduing of a mob at Beaumont. But mainly it is
the story of a law officer, of a cool-headed, daring man, who never hesi-
tated to risk his life in enforcing the law.
Thomas Moran: Watercolors of the American West. By Carol Clark.
(Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980. Pp. x+ 18o. Introduc-
tion, illustrations, catalog, bibliography, checklist, index. $25.)
It is difficult to review a book that you have looked forward to about
an artist you have long admired, and still be objective. Carol Clark
successfully pursues her major interest-the watercolors of nineteenth-
century American artist Thomas Moran. Her chapter on nineteenth-
century watercolor aesthetics is informative and interesting, covering a
less well-known aspect of art. This chapter, coupled with the following
one on the patrons and collectors of Moran's watercolors, constitutes
the fresher portion of the book.
The watercolors themselves are jewels, fascinating as paintings, work
sketches, or mementoes of his journeys. The ten color plates are beauti-
ful and make the other fifty reproductions seem like vague reflections.
This is economics, not criticism. However, the failings as well as the
excellent parts of the book must be examined.
Clark is perhaps guilty only of attempting too much in what is
basically a catalog of a particular exhibit. She attempts to draw a
biographical sketch of Thomas Moran; place him in his time and en-
vironment; and examine the nineteenth-century attitude toward water-
colors in general and Moran's in particular. She covers the patrons and
collectors of Moran's watercolors and adds a catalog raisonn6.
The first two chapters of the book cover Moran's training and early
career and recount his various trips to Yellowstone. These two chap-
ters are the least rewarding in the book. The first is too sketchy and the
second is overly fleshed out with quotations, picture titles, picture sizes,
and names of current owners, all presented in an awkward manner.


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 84, July 1980 - April, 1981, periodical, 1980/1981; Austin, Texas. ( accessed May 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.