- Jerry Bywaters, Lone Star Printmaker: A Study of His Printing Notebook with a Catalogue of His Prints and a Checklist of His Illustrations and Ephemeral Works (review)
- Southwestern Historical Quarterly
- Texas State Historical Association
- Volume 112, Number 4, April 2009
- pp. 452-453
- View Citation
- Additional Information
452Southwestern Historical QuarterlyApril impediment, the varied status of die workers' setdements, added complexity to attempts at coordinating production. Walsh discusses the ejidos, die colonos, die campesinos and their relative suitability for the work. Today, where once cotton covered diousands of hectares, sorghum and corn are now the dominant crops. Walsh suggests diat promoting these basic grains is part of Mexico's federal "national food system designed to support die rural sector and provide security in an increasingly volatile and politicized world market" (P- 175)· Building the Borderlands is divided into nine chapters, widi a certain amount of overlap, each encapsulated in a brief conclusion. This is indeed useful as the story is convoluted. Along with being an extremely detailed narrative history, between the lines the book is a saga of villainy and political treachery, with presidents , state governors, and project directors promising improved quality of life and dien retracting their pledges. This distasteful element is hard to ignore. Maps, charts, and an index complement the text and footnotes. The bibliography includes extensive direct and peripheral subject matter and full historical coverage. As a geographer, I wish for more informative maps and, having limited skill in Spanish, would welcome a glossary. Austin, TexasJane Manaster Jerry Bywaters, Ij>ne Star Printmaker: A Study ofHis Printing Notebook with a Catalogue ofHis Prints and a Checklist ofHis Illustrations and Ephemeral Works. By Ellen Buie Niewyk. Foreword by Ron Tyler. (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press. 2007. Pp. 208. Illustrations, bibliography, index. ISBN 9780870745195, $35.00 cloth.) Perhaps it would not be amiss to state upfront that the book review editor had difficulty finding an impartial reviewer for this volume because the author had guidance from the likes of Francine Carraro, author of Bywaters' definitive biography , and Sam Ratcliffe, author of the equally reliable Jerry Bywaters: Interpreter of the Southwest. The audior's reliance on such authorities as these is surely an indication of her thoroughness. Unlike die earlier work of Carraro and Ratcliffe, however, Ms. Niewyk's effort is focused on Bywaters's role as a printmaker, a role that ended in 1 948 as he became increasingly burdened with administrative responsibilities as director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Moreover, Ms. Niewyk was vastly aided by her discovery of his manuscript "Print Notebook" in Bywaters' archives. Ms. Niewyk's book opens with brief reminiscent essays by two long-time Dallasites diat seem long on charm but wanting in perception. Ron Tyler's brief foreword lends a certain cachet to this heroic endeavor. Names once familiar in Dallas art circles in die ig20S and '30s have since faded but Ms. Niewyk revives diem for one last turn on stage. How many nowadays (outside museum circles) could identify the so-called "Dallas Nine"? A high school English teacher once explained to me that certain adjectives should be routinely avoided, to wit: first, last, always, never, best, worse, biggest 20ogBook Reviews453 smallest, etc. Had she thought of it at the moment, she might have added "definitive ." This work will surely be die last word for years to come on Bywaters's contribution to the printmaker's art. It may even be definitive. But it is surely safe to describe it as authoritative. Jerry Bywaters's legacy seems securely situated on a three-legged stool lovingly constructed by the joint effort of Carraro, Ratcliffe, and now Niewyk, whose meticulously researched and well-written treatise will stand die test of time. The book itself is handsomely turned out with excellent reproductions of the lithographs, plus much of Bywaters's book illustration work. It is printed in double -columns with extra leading (spacing) between the lines in order to facilitate ease of reading. As a matter of convention, lengthy quotations are usually singlespaced , and are usually indented. Here, the indentions are inconsistent. These are matters that cannot, of course, blamed on an author because once that individual lets go his or her manuscript, it become the responsibility of a production manager to get it into print with a relentless eye on the bottom line. The author sums up the significance of Bywaters's contribution to Southwest regionalism, a contribution at once influential and long-lasting. StringlownAl Lowman A TexasJourney...