Ellen Buie Niewyk, Central University Libraries, has received a 2007 CASETA Publication Award from the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art for her 2007 book, Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Printmaker (SMU Press). The book was published in conjunction with the major Meadows Museum exhibition of the same name. CASETA awards the prize annually to the individual who has made “the most important contribution to the published literature on early Texas art” during the previous calendar year.
(Originally published Dec. 6, 2007.)
With subjects ranging from the art of the Maya to the psychology of America’s favorite dysfunctional animated family, SMU faculty members and researchers published or won awards for a bevy of books during 2007. We’ve made a list, and invite you to add your own favorite books in the comments. Read more.
SMU’s 30th annual Celebration of Lights took place Dec. 2, 2007, on the University’s Main Quad. It featured more than 100,000 decorative lights and luminarias, caroling and a reading of the Christmas story from the New Testament by SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
International and civic leaders, a former athlete turned dentist and an emerging theatre star received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA) during formal ceremonies on Nov. 8, 2007. See the ceremony as it was rebroadcast on SMU-TV Channel 19 in the Park Cities.
Three important new Meadows Museum exhibitions opened Nov. 30, 2007. “Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s” runs through Feb. 24, 2008; “Jerry Bywaters, Interpreter of the Southwest” and “Lone Star Printmaker” run through Mar. 2, 2008.
• Hear an interview with co-curators Sam Ratcliffe and Ellen Buie Niewyk by Laurel Ornish of ClassicalTexas.com, with remarks by Meadows Museum Director Mark Roglán
• See a gallery of some of the paintings on exhibit
Two current Meadows Museum exhibits on the works of Jerry Bywaters are designed to give visitors a three-dimensional portrait of the influential Dallas artist, right down to his favorite houndstooth fedora. That multifaceted view reflects the work of the two SMU researchers who curated the exhibits – both of whom have published new books on this Texas titan.
In Jerry Bywaters: Interpreter of the Southwest (Texas A&M University Press), Sam Ratcliffe provides a retrospective of Bywaters’ paintings that shows the artist’s perspective on the people of the region and their interactions with the land. “In a sense, I began writing this in 1986, when Jerry hired me to assist him with organizing his papers at SMU,” says Ratcliffe, now head of the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections Wing in the Hamon Arts Library. “Those first days in a broom closet in Fondren Library began my gradual immersion into knowledge of his career – and therefore of the sweep of the cultural history of the Southwest.”
For years, Bywaters kept notes about his printmaking in a small loose-leaf notebook. In Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Printmaker (SMU Press), Ellen Buie Niewyk, curator of the Bywaters Special Collections in SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, worked directly from the frayed pages of the notebook to shed new light on Bywaters’ prints. The 39 prints Bywaters created from 1935 to 1948 are reproduced in the book, as well as many of his book illustrations and ephemeral works. The book also include photographs both of the artists and the subjects he depicts. “Jerry Bywaters was a true Texas artist,” Niewyk says. “His interpretations of the Texas and Southwest landscape, architecture and people mirror life during the 1930s and 1940s and still delight viewers and art collectors today.”
Three important new Meadows Museum exhibitions, all opening Nov. 30, 2007, will explore the evolution of American art and offer rare insights into a Texas titan.
“Coming of Age: American Art, 1850s to 1950s” running through Feb. 24, 2008, explores the fertile period during which artists as diverse as Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Alexander Calder and Georgia O’Keeffe rose to international prominence.
“Jerry Bywaters, Interpreter of the Southwest” and “Lone Star Printmaker” run through Mar. 2 and promise a fully rounded look into the life and work of the Dallas artist who reshaped the Texas art world and brought national recognition for Texas artists.
(Top, a section of Jerry Bywaters’ Where the Mountains Meet the Plains, 1939; right, Winslow Homer’s Eight Bells, 1886. )