Midcentury Modern Art in Texas by Katie Robinson EdwardsMidcentury Modern Art in Texas by Katie Robinson Edwards

Midcentury Modern Art in Texas

byKatie Robinson Edwards

Paper over Board | July 1, 2014

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Winner, Award of Merit for Non-Fiction, The Philosophical Society of Texas, 2015

Before Abstract Expressionism of New York City was canonized as American postwar modernism, the United States was filled with localized manifestations of modern art. One such place where considerable modernist activity occurred was Texas, where artists absorbed and interpreted the latest, most radical formal lessons from Mexico, the East Coast, and Europe, while still responding to the state's dramatic history and geography. This barely known chapter in the story of American art is the focus of Midcentury Modern Art in Texas.

Presenting new research and artwork that has never before been published, Katie Robinson Edwards examines the contributions of many modernist painters and sculptors in Texas, with an emphasis on the era's most abstract and compelling artists. Edwards looks first at the Dallas Nine and the 1936 Texas Centennial, which offered local artists a chance to take stock of who they were and where they stood within the national artistic setting. She then traces the modernist impulse through various manifestations, including the foundations of early Texas modernism in Houston; early practitioners of abstraction and non-objectivity; the Fort Worth Circle; artists at the University of Texas at Austin; Houston artists in the 1950s; sculpture in and around an influential Fort Worth studio; and, to see how some Texas artists fared on a national scale, the Museum of Modern Art's "Americans" exhibitions.

The first full-length treatment of abstract art in Texas during this vital and canon-defining period, Midcentury Modern Art in Texas gives these artists their due place in American art, while also valuing the quality of Texan-ness that subtly undergirds much of their production.

Katie Robinson Edwards, Ph.D., is Curator of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum in Austin. In addition to curating exhibitions and writing on Texas art, she has written on Chuck Close, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Jessica Stockholder, Andrew Wyeth, and Jamie Wyeth. She taught modern and contemporary art at the Allbritton Ar...
Title:Midcentury Modern Art in TexasFormat:Paper over BoardDimensions:391 pages, 9.75 × 8 × 0.98 inPublished:July 1, 2014Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292756593

ISBN - 13:9780292756595

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Table of Contents


The Modernist Impulse and Texas Art

The 1930s and the Texas Centennial

Houston and the Foundations of Early Texas Modernism

Early Practitioners of Abstraction and Nonobjectivity

The Fort Worth Circle

The University of Texas at Austin in the 1940s and 1950s

The 1950s and Houston

Sculpture in and around the Studio of Charles Williams

Are Texans American? MoMA’s Americans Exhibitions

Postscript: What Happened to Earnest Modernism?


Selected Artists’ Biographies

Sarah Beth Wilson



Illustration credits


Editorial Reviews

"…a thorough, well-researched study of modernist activity in Texas…Well-illustrated and nicely organized, this study will be useful to scholars and students of American studies and American art history and of special interest to those concerned with mid-century modernism in Texas." - Choice - 2015