The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994 Page: 164

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

built, he was a mentor for younger architects, always preaching sensitivity to the
nature of materials, concern for timeless design and long-term building perfor-
mance, innovative strategies to address financial constraints, and adaptability to
changing needs.
George ably conveys the complexities and contradictions of her subject. Both
visionary and pragmatist, Ford was a strong proponent of historic preservation-
unless preserving an old building would jeopardize a new commission. He
fought hard to win the HemisFair commission, then turned it over to his part-
ner, Boone Powell. Ford enjoyed mingling with the rich, but some of his detrac-
tors referred to him as "that hippie architect."
The author, an architectural historian, appreciates and understands Ford and
his talents, but she is never sentimental. George portrays the architect as cre-
ative, strong-willed, articulate, and unwavering in his commitment to his art.
Nevertheless, she also observes that Ford was "devoid of self-knowledge" (p. 182)
and was "an old-fashioned male chauvinist in spite of all his progressive views
about minority rights" (p. 176).
The book sets forth in direct chronological fashion the path of Ford's life and
his interactions with clients, colleagues, and friends. The easy manner with
which he seems to have moved among most of them is mirrored by the author's
writing style. It is a good match.
O'Neil Ford, Architect is part biography, part architecture, and part history, the
history of twentieth-century Texas and San Antonio especially.
The book is well written and well edited. Readers will be impressed by the
book's design and the number and quality of the illustrations. Texas A&M Uni-
versity Press should be congratulated for its generous support of research in
Texas, and pleased with the results of its commitment. As Texas is fortunate to
have had O'Neil Ford and his buildings, so Texas architectural history is fortu-
nate to have this book.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department CYNTHIA BRANDIMARTE
Inside Texas: Culture, Identity, and Houses, 1878-1920. By Cynthia A. Brandimarte.
(Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1991. Pp. xvi+460. Preface,
black-and-white photographs, illustrations, conclusion, appendices, glossary,
notes, index. $60.oo.)
Cynthia Brandimarte's Inside Texas: Culture, Identity, and Houses, 1878-1920 is
a significant addition to the literature of material culture studies and of Texas
history. Based on years of patient research which led to the identification of a
major body of images of interiors taken between 1878 and 1920o, the book will
be a standard reference in both fields. In a sense, the study had two goals: first,
to use the collection of interiors to document the character of domestic life in
the four decades surrounding the turn of the twentieth century; and second, to
offer a cultural model for use in studying these interiors.
The visual evidence is a striking confirmation of the idea that by the late nine-
teenth century the homes of Texans shared the decorative vocabulary of most


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994, periodical, 1994; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.