Texas Panorama: An Exhibition of Paintings by Twenty-Seven Texas Artists Page: 4
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more likely, there were too many obvious miscarriages of artistic
judgment. (In one exhibition, a painting of Holstein-looking
dairy cows grazing in a New Englandish meadow won the larg-
est prize for the best picture depicting Texas ranch life!)
This one story, typical of others in the art history of Texas, is
recalled to bring into high relief two unfortunate attitudes which
once prevailed, the disappearance of which has permitted art to
develop more normally. First, since there were few artists in
Texas two decades ago, it seemed entirely possible and practical
to guarantee the development of art and make one town an art
center by proffering large money prizes to artists who would ex-
hibit in Texas. As this scheme actually worked out, the painters
from other regions merely came to Texas, entered their paint-
ings in the exhibitions, collected their fat prizes and returned
wonderingly but promptly to their studios far away. Second,
these amazing exhibitions impressed the stolid Eastern centers
of culture and art as just another naive shenanigan to be ex-
pected from the provinces when art was concerned, but since the
"inducements" were abnormally large, the Eastern seers of art
felt a compulsion to participate and apparently aid in trans-
forming an outlandish shenanigan into a cultural event.
Fortunately, the passing of the years has made a difference,
and these curious attitudes no longer predominate in American
art. It is better understood now (even in the provinces) that art
cannot be produced artificially and arbitrarily; also, no one
part of the country can claim to fully represent or control the
talent of the whole country.
While such noisy and newsworthy events as the Davis Com-
petitions were taking place without permanent effect, the logi-
cal forces for the real development of art in Texas were working
quietly and without acknowledgment. A few of the older artists,
such as Frank Reaugh "the cattle painter", and many young and
unknown painters were working hard at their own development.
Local exhibitions were providing opportunity for hanging their
first professional efforts. Among these annual shows continuing
to be of great service to local artists are those in Houston, Dal-
las, San Antonio, Fort Worth, and most of the other sizeable
towns. Typical of these local exhibitions is the Annual Dallas
Allied Arts, now in its 16th year, where purchase prizes totalling
an annual average of $1,500 are available to encourage local
artists. Such inter-city exhibitions as the Texas General, now in
its sixth year, stimulate competition among artists within the
For many years certain small and struggling civic or private
art schools have helped when no other instruction was available.
Recently, the surprising expansion of college and university art
departments has exerted wide influence through capable teach-
ers (usually professional and practising artists) whose students
ALEXANDRE HOGUE: The Crucified Land, oil, 60 x 42.
Sa e /
Here’s what’s next.
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Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Texas Panorama: An Exhibition of Paintings by Twenty-Seven Texas Artists, pamphlet, 1943; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth183309/m1/4/: accessed November 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Museum of Art.