"This well-written book is a splendid tribute to an artist whose reputation continues to grow."
Books of the Southwest
"...a pioneering study ...This in-depth treatment of a Texas regionalist will disabuse the general public of the notion that 1930s regionalism is confined to Benton, Curry, and Wood."
M. Sue Kendall, Ph.D., author of Rethinking Regionalism: John Steuart Curry and the Kansas Mural Controversy
As an artist, art critic, museum director, and art educator, Jerry Bywaters reshaped the Texas art world and won national recognition for Texas artists. This first full-scale biography explores his life and work in the context of twentieth-century American art, revealing Bywaters' important role in the development of regionalist painting.
Francine Carraro delves into all aspects of Bywaters' career. As an artist, Bywaters became the leader of a group of young painters known as the Dallas Nine (Alexandre Hogue, Everett Spruce, Otis Dozier, William Lester, and others) who overcame the limits of provincialism and attained national recognition in the 1930s.
As director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, art critic for the Dallas Morning News, and professor of art at Southern Methodist University, Bywaters championed the arts in Texas. Carraro traces his role in professionalizing Texas art institutions and defending the right to display art considered "subversive" in the McCarthy era.
This portrait of an artist who used regional images to explore universal themes will be of interest to students of American studies, national and regional art, and twentieth-century biography.