He Pointed Them North: Frank Reaugh and the Creation of the Texas Cowboy as Culture Bearer

Friday, January 5, 2018: 11:10 AM
Virginia Suite C (Marriott Wardman Park)
Michael R. Grauer, West Texas A&M University
Following the template set by early American history painters who turned to Europe for training and validity, given that American history was so very new, Texas history painters followed the same canons by emulating those selfsame Americans in depicting their own brand of new history in the late 19th Century. This came to include direct reportage of the major events during Reconstruction by Texas artists of the industry that build America through its collective stomachs: cattle driving and cattle ranching. The immediacy of effect which bloomed in Paris in 1874, carried across the Atlantic to the U.S. by 1885, and found its way to Texas by 1890, gave a new toolbox to Texas artists to depict the bounty of Texas that fed, clothed, and fueled the U.S. during the inexorable changes of the 20th century. Conversely, these fruits of labor and the myths created around them, became interwoven in the tapestry of the identification of America.
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