Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Great Gift Ideas For The Holiday—Books On Texas Regional Art

(Blogger’s Note–This is a rerun of a post I ran last summer. I’ve made it current by suggesting you buy the above books as a holiday gift. The first time I ran this post it fell flat in terms of traffic to the blog. And here I was figuring there was a pent-up demand for Texas regional art of the New Deal era that was just waiting for a blogger to express it for the general public. Everyday life has value. These books give everyday life and everyday people they respect they merit by viewing how we live as a subject worth being painted and written about. I hope folks are having a nice holiday season and thank you very much for reading Texas Liberal.)

I’ve bought two art books in recent weeks that show Texans working together and respecting the land and culture of the Lone Star state.

These two books are shown above as they are being read by two members of the Texas Liberal Panel of Experts.

On the left, Extinct–A woolly mammoth–is reading Alexandre Hogue–An American Visionary.

On the right, Cactus is reading The Texas Post Office Murals-Art For The People.

Both of these titles are published by Texas A & M University.

Alexandre Hogue lived 1898-1994. He spent most of his life in Texas and New Mexico.

From the excellent Handbook of Texas Online-

“(Hogue) is best known for his paintings of the Dust Bowl of the American Southwest during the Great Depression. Most of his work on this subject is from the 1930s, but the theme of natural balance-and the resulting environmental disasters when humans fail to respect that balance-is found throughout his work.”

Alexandre Hogue’s paintings offer a way of seeing Texas in a way that reflects something more than just doing whatever you want no matter the harm it causes others.

Below is Hogue’s 1939 painting The Crucified Land.

Again from The Handbook of Texas Online

“Post office murals capture the flavor of Texas through its most prominent symbols. Themes include regional history and early settlement. For example, the arrival of the conquistadors in West Texas is a mural theme in the Canyon, El Paso, and Amarillo post offices. Pioneer settlers appear in the murals of Mart, Big Spring, Brady, Wellington, and others. Included also are murals depicting various industries that characterize Texas, such as ranching (Fredericksburg, Amarillo); agriculture (Elgin, Farmersville, Longview); oil operations (Kilgore, Graham); and lumber manufacturing (Jasper, Trinity).”

Here is a list of Texas post office murals. Some of these murals are still around to view. Others are not. Check in advance.

Below is a picture I took from the Post Office of a 1941 Jerry Bywaters mural called Houston Ship Channel: Loading Cotton.

This painting is at a Houston parcel post facility and, regretfully, is not at the moment able to be seen by the public.

Texas can be seen from many different perspectives. You don’t have to accept a Texas where the land and the environment mean nothing, and where the little person gets no regard from the powerful other than a kick in the head.

See Texas in a more just and hopeful way, and then work hard to make your vision a reality.

(Here is a Texas Liberal list of books about Texas.) 

December 13, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,


  1. The art you show is reminiscent of the greatly revered mosaics of working people that have graced Cincinnati’s Museum Center. Your opening comments clearly make the case for owning these books and for the creation of the art, both in Texas and Cincinnati, in the first place.

    Comment by Newton | December 13, 2011

  2. Newton–Thank you for your fine comment. I’m certain that all parts of our nation have works of art worth preserving.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 14, 2011

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