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Meadows Museum presents The Collection of Calloway and Jerry Bywaters Cochran. In Honor of a Lone Star Legend

Meadows Museum presents The Collection of Calloway and Jerry Bywaters Cochran. In Honor of a Lone Star Legend, an exhibition on view June 3-August 19, 2012.

The exhibition features works of art donated to SMU by Calloway and Jerry Bywaters Cochran, daughter of renowned Texas artist Jerry Bywaters. The collection includes 49 Bywaters works of a variety of subjects created over the length of his career. Media range from oils and watercolors to pastels, graphite drawings and prints. With this gift, SMU is the largest repository of Jerry Bywaters’ work. Their gift also includes 16 pieces of art from Bywaters’ personal collection.

Jerry Bywaters (American, 1906-1989), San Millán Iglesia, Segovia, Spain, 1929, oil on canvas. University Art Collection, SMU, Dallas. Gift of Calloway and Jerry Bywaters Cochran, 2011. UAC.2011.03.22

The evolution of Bywaters’ career is demonstrated in the exhibition with examples of his earliest work – created just after his 1927 graduation from SMU and reflective of his travels to France, Spain and Mexico – through abstract landscapes created in the 1970s. Highlights include the 1937 oil painting, Sharecroppers Wife, the lesser-known counterpart to Share Cropper, which belongs to the Dallas Museum of Art. Bywaters’ frequent sketching trips are reflected by works such as the 1937 pastels Chisos Mountains, Big Bend and Black Mesa, Near Santa Fe.

Also on display is an insightful look at Bywaters’ personal art collection, reflecting his influence as an artist, teacher, museum director and leader of the Lone Star Regionalism art movement. The exhibition includes artwork by Otis Dozier, Ed Bearden and DeForrest Judd, fellow Regionalist artists known with Bywaters as part of the Dallas Nine.

Bywaters’ art is characterized by his interest in the interaction between people and the land, influenced by the social effects of the Great Depression. His artistic influence extended through his teaching career, which began at SMU in 1936 where he taught fine arts and art history until 1976. He also left his artistic mark from 1943 to 1964 as director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, now the Dallas Museum of Art, where he oversaw significant growth of the permanent collection and initiated exhibitions featuring the work of regional artists.

In 1980 Bywaters gave his papers, letters, prints and other ephemera to SMU, creating the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest at SMU’s Hamon Arts Library archives. The documents provide insight to Bywaters’ life as artist, teacher, museum administrator, writer, critic and historian. –

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