Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991 Page: 24
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Lone Stars, Volume II: A
Legacy of Texas Quilts,
Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy
O'Bryant Puentes, University of Texas Press,
$39.95 cloth, $24.95 paper.
This book is an elegant and insightful
document of the fruits of the Texas Quilt
Search. The Texas Sesquicentennial Quilt
Association has undertaken a continuing effort
to discover and preserve a record of the history
and aesthetic of quilting in the state. The book
is a visual delight with its excellent color
reproductions of some exquisite quilts. Many
are traditional patterns like the log cabin and
the double wedding band designs. Others are
pure Texana with longhorns and Texas stars
and prickly pears, live oaks, and cowboy
iconography. Still others, like the "#44 Quilt,"
is an impressionistic montage from splashes of
acrylic on cotton squares. The artist is a
National Endowment for the Arts visual arts
fellow who produces contemporary artwork in
the quilting medium.
Authors Bresenhan and Puentes, who were
among the organizers of the Texas Sesquicentennial
Quilt Association, have selected quilts
for this book from among the thousands that
they have discovered through their efforts.
Along with the illustrations of each quilt is a
narrative account of each quilter and their
work, along with a cameo portrait. In their introduction
they establish the tone of the book,
that quilters come from many walks of life with
many different backgrounds, but all are part of
an aesthetic community. While most work alone
rather than in the folk quilting bee context,
they share a common artistic expression.
As shown lovingly in the pages of this book,
quilting is a contemporary as well as a folk art.
Eyewitness to War: Prints
and Daguerrotypes of the
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Martha A. Sandweiss, Rick Stewart, and Ben W.
Huseman, Amon Carter Museum and
Smithsonian Institution Press, $45.00 cloth.
Now that the nation has just emerged from
its first TV war, with the immediacy of Scud
attacks fresh in our visual memory, it is enlightening
to study this collection of historic
sketches, paintings, and photographs of our first
war on foreign soil. As the book relates, the
By John Peterson
Mexican War was the first to be documented
photographically by "the first identifiable war
correspondents" who provided an immediacy
for the American public that was previously
The book was produced to accompany an
exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum which
had been been drawn partly from its own
They are often stark and poignant
eyewitness images ranging from daguerrotypes
which accurately portrayed the people and the
setting but were unique and unreproduceable,
to prints prepared by eyewitnesses or their
artistic agents. In the latter category, the
background was often lifted from popular
artistic renditions and seasoned with
nationalistic and racist figures.
Author Stewart provides an excellent
overview of the "Artists and Printmakers." This
is an account of the media of the period and how
visual and descriptive accounts were focused
through the filter of photographers, artists, and
lithographers to portray the war to an eager
audience. Author Sandweiss presents an
account of the use of daguerrotypes in the war
only eight years after the invention of the
technique in France. She demonstrates the
hidden bias of the medium of photography
which is often more deceptive than its
The effect of the whole presentation, of
maps, color plates, and duotones, is to provide
an incredible visual historic account of Mexico
in the mid-nineteenth century. At the same
time, the text skillfully provides a context for
the modern viewer to punch through the often
dissembling representations of a nascent
The Franklin Mountains:
Beginning of the Rockies
Photography by Michael R. Moses, text by Alex
Apostolides, design by Raymond Garton,
illustrations by Danielle M. Moses, A Rainbow in
a Tree Publication, $39.95 cloth.
The Franklin Mountains is an appreciation of
a rugged and forbidding terrain that lies at the
heart of an urban landscape. The collaborators
share a love for this unique environment that is
framed by one of the most unruly and sprawling
cities in the west. El Paso is a melange of military
and leisure America, of Mexican and TexMexican,
of industrial and residential city
lights. The visitor is greeted on the east by billboards
advertising Tony Llama boot billboards
and street signs commemorating a native son
golf pro, and on the west by Asarco's belching
towers that smear El Paso's crystalline western
skies. Like most American cities, fast food and
convenience stores clutter the sight lines from
most perspectives along the streets of El Paso.
But in this city there is always the reassuring
facade of the Franklins that smugly contends
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 1991, periodical, Spring 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45424/m1/24/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.