Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Exhibition poster

Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West August 4, 2015 – November 29, 2015

Artist, educator, inventor, and naturalist, Charles Franklin Reaugh (1860–1945), pronounced "Ray," is one of the Southwest's earliest and most distinguished artists. Working in the vein of American Impressionism, Reaugh devoted his career to visually documenting the vast, unsettled regions of the Southwest before the turn of the twentieth century.

Drawing on more than 200 artworks in the Ransom Center's Frank Reaugh collection, as well as other archives, museums, and private collections across the state, the exhibition examines Reaugh's mastery of the pastel medium and his sophisticated yet direct approach to the challenges of landscape painting, particularly en plein air (painting outdoors). While Reaugh's contributions have often been linked to the region, his work holds broad historical precedents.

Highlights include side-by-side comparisons of his small field sketches with larger studio works illustrating the same geographic location and "Twenty-four Hours with the Herd," Reaugh's epic series of mural-size pastels that served as the centerpiece of his performance work of the same title.

The exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to experience a historical survey of the most significant works created by an artist often referred to as "the Dean of (early) Texas Artists."

A companion publication, Windows on the West: The Art of Frank Reaugh, edited by exhibition curator Peter Mears, will be published by University of Texas Press.

Learn more


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