Heritage, Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 1995 Page: 27
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Ancient Architecture of
William N. Morgan, 1994, University of
Texas Press, Austin.
Reviewed by John Peterson
The coffee table groans each fall with
new offerings. This comprehensive collection
of the floor plans of Southwestern
prehistoric villages is a welcome addition
to architectural representations for the region.
The author, a practicing architect,
uses shading and topographic effects to
provide visual appeal and immediacy. This
makes the volume very accessible. Narrative
text accompanying each pueblo figure
provides a very brief overview of the research
history on the sites as well as a short
cultural chronology and an account of key
collection of the floor plans
prehistoric villages is a
welcome addition to
for the region.
The sites range in age from pithouse to
late Pueblo, and thus the book presents an
evolutionary sequence of Southwest settlement.
This approach, while more thorough
and inclusive of the settlement history of
the region, is actually somewhat self-contradictory.
One distinct drawback of the
book is that there is a sense of finality and
completeness represented by each elegant
figure. In other words, pueblos that themselves
overlay older pithouse sites and which
often evolved over hundreds of years, are
presented from only the period of their
occupation. Much archaeological effort has
been devoted to discerning the history of
accretion and abandonment at these sites,
and this is totally lost when a figure from
the "classic" period of the site is taken for
the whole. In fact, when viewed as living
villages, they all lose much of the sense of
formal completeness that is portrayed here.
Historical photography of Southwestern
villages present a hodge-podge of people
and things and all manner of life exuding
from these structures rather than the crisp
and sterile finality of these figures.
That aside, the book provides a good
overview of the variety of architectural
forms found in Southwestern prehistoric
sites and is an appealing account of their
diversity and variability.
Life on the Texas Range
Erwin E. Smith, 1994, University of Texas
Reviewed by John Peterson
Erwin Smith was one of chroniclers of
the old west before it slid into the oblivion
of Dairy Queens and K-Marts. Born and
raised within the loop of the Red River
north of Dallas in 1886, he grew up in the
last days of the cattle range. Early in life he
developed an artistic bent and found that
with an inexpensive Kodak camera he could
travel light and document the life and work
of cowboys and cattle ranches in Texas and
the Southwest. Throughout his itinerant
career he studied sculpture and yearned to
cast bronze statues in the vein of Remington
and Lorado Taft and others. But he turned
back to tend his family's estate, a ranch
near Bonham, and, as J. Evetts Haley eloquently
describes in his introduction to the
222 E. Guenther Street
San Antonio, Texas 78204
book of photographs reprinted in this edition:
"Thus Erwin Smith labored with the
soil in the production of meat as the years
loped on...while time and posthole diggers
stiffened the sensitive hands that had turned
the clay to living account."
In this volume nearly 80 of his best prints
are presented. Haley recounts that more
than 1,800 prints were given to the Library
of Congress a couple of years after his death
by his sister. One hundred prints were exhibited
by the Texas Memorial Museum in
1936 during the Texas Centennial, and the
prints for the original of this volume were
selected from among those on display. The
new edition gives a younger generation of
Texans a chance to savor the clarity and
simplicity of Smith's vision of the west, of a
working life with cattle, and of the changes
in the landscape that were already accumulating
in the latter years of the last century.
Book Review Editor John Peterson is a professor
in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology
at the University of Texas in El Paso.
An elegant Victorian home, built in 1886, in the
King William Historic District. The Jiverwalk
starts across the street, and the trolley stops at the
comer. Both will take you within minutes to the
Alamo and downtown areas.
Allguest roomsfeature queen size beds, private
baths and beautifu ornate carved wood Victorian
beds. A gourmet breakfast is served in the formal
dining room on china andcrystal, with a breakfast
The perfect location to enjoy all thefestivities of
Attention Book Publishers:
HERITAGE magazine will be happy to consider
your books for review in this section.Send
historic biographies or books on Texas history,
architecture, preservation, anthropology, or archaeology
to: John Peterson, Book Review Editor,
2735 Gold Ave., El Paso, TX 79930
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 13, Number 2, Spring 1995, periodical, Spring 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45410/m1/27/: accessed June 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.