Heritage, 2011, Volume 1 Page: 13
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1900, Stockfleth faithfully painted scenes of the city, its coastline,
and the ships that plied Galveston's busy waterways. Stockfleth,
after losing most of his family in the storm, remained in Galveston
long enough to produce a number of haunting and heartbreaking
images of the disaster. The 1896 Texas Coast Fair Exhibition also
included three paintings by artist Frank Reaugh of Dallas, who
would soon become known as the state's most prolific and sensitive
observer of longhorn cattle and the wide-open spaces of West Texas.
A new generation of Texas artists, many of them native to the state,
got their start in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Among them
was the man fated to become the "Father of Texas Impressionism,"
Julian Onderdonk (son of artist Robert Onderdonk), born in 1882
in San Antonio (see image on page 9, top). Murray Bewley, born in
1884 in Fort Worth, would gain his greatest acclaim as a painter
in Paris and New York. Sallie Blyth Mummert, a pillar of the Fort
Worth art community in the 1920s and 1930s, saw her first light in
1888 in Cisco, Texas. Missouri native Alexandre Hogue and Texas
native Jerry Bywaters, born in 1898 and 1906 respectively, would
become leaders of the American Regionalist art movement in Dal-
las. Tom Lea, destined for fame as an iconic painter of Texas and
the Southwest, was born in 1907 in El Paso. There were many others.
Where no opportunities existed to encourage the artists in their
midst, Texans created them. In 1910, Jennie Scott Scheuber, librar-
ian of the Carnegie Public Library in Fort Worth, launched an in-
augural exhibition of paintings by Dallas and Fort Worth artists.
The next year she expanded the show to include artists statewide.
Gaining in popularity, her Annual Exhibition of Selected Paint-
ings by Texas Artists became a favorite showplace of Texas artists
for almost 30 years. Local shows spotlighting the work of artists
in a specific locale were first organized in Houston, then, with the
founding of the Witte Museum, the idea bloomed in San Antonio.
Dallas organized its first Allied Arts Exhibition, designed to pro-
mote artists in Dallas County, in 1928. Luling oilman Edgar B.
Davis underwrote the Texas Wildflower Competitive Exhibition
in 1927, offering cash prizes that included a $5,000 award to the
competition's top painting. These enormous sums attracted scores
of entries and triggered some of the finest landscape painting ever
achieved within the state. The competition, in an expanded format,
lasted until 1929, at which time the Witte Museum built a new gal-
lery to house the competition's prize-winning paintings. Many of
those pieces are still owned today by the San Antonio Art League.
In the first half of the 20th century, Texas artists working in
many genres distinguished themselves. Western Art, which cele-
brates the ranching lifestyle and the American cowboy, was first
produced in Texas by men such as Wallace Simpson of Fort Worth
(see image on page 14, bottom), Fred Darge of Dallas, and Harold
Bugbee of Clarendon. The ranks of Texas' finest landscape painters
included John Eliot Jenkins of Austin, Edward G. Eisenlohr and
Frank Reaugh of Dallas, Dwight C. Holmes and Samuel P. Ziegler
of Fort Worth (see image on page 9, bottom), Audley Dean Nichols
and Eugene Thurston of El Paso (see pages 4-5), along with Daw-
son Dawson-Watson, Robert Wood, and Porfirio Salinas of San
Antonio. Wood, an Englishman, and Salinas, his Texas protege,
were strongly influenced by Julian Onderdonk, who died suddenly
Frank Reaugh (pronounced RAY) of
Kaufman County made his first sketching
trip in 1883, traveling a route through
Wichita Falls and the Indian Territory. He
sought higher art education at the Aca-
demie Julian in Paris in 1889 and moved
to the Oak Cliff section of Dallas one year
later to establish himself as an artist and
Reaugh's propensity for arduous travel
in pursuit of subject matter was a life-
long obsession. Beginning in 1889, he
made yearly sketching trips to West
Texas, alone at first, and later accompa-
nied by growing numbers of students.
Reaugh and his followers made the trips
in horse-drawn wagons until the advent
of the automobile allowed for motorized
convoys. These annual explorations into
West Texas, with all participants sleeping
under the stars, continued until 1940.
Reaugh earned fame for his laser-like fo-
cus on the Texas longhorn and the land-
scape once inhabited by this majestic an-
imal. Twenty-four Hours with the Herd,
his best-known series of large-scale pas-
tel drawings, was widely exhibited in Tex-
as. Reaugh manufactured his own pastel
paints in a custom palette designed to
capture the changing colors and moods
of the West Texas landscape. Working
primarily outdoors, he is believed to have
produced more than 7,000 paintings.
-Scott Grant Barker
Volume 1 2011 1 TEXASHERITAGE 13
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, 2011, Volume 1, periodical, 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth254220/m1/13/: accessed July 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.