Traces of Forgotten Places: An Artist's Thirty-year Exploration and Celebration of Texas as it Was
By: Don Collins (author), T. Lindsay Baker (editor)Paperback
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For more than half a century, Austin artist Don Collins crisscrossed Texas looking for traces of the past. Most often he has found them in a variety of old buildings. Drawings of these places, thirteen a year, appeared for three decades in popular calendars issued in Austin by the Miller Blueprint Company. The publications themselves have become collectors' items.In order to prepare his annual calendars, Don frequented less-traveled byways and often forgotten places. When he discovered that he had begun retracing his routes, he bought a stack of Texas county road maps. The artist marked the courses that he had taken so that he would be sure to see new country on each subsequent foray: "I would seek out roads that followed the path of least resistance, often up a creek. I would follow them and usually find an old structure." In time he expanded his geographical range to more distant areas of the state: "I wanted to go there and see what it's like."In this book, Collins has chosen seventy from more than three hundred works of art that he created for the Miller Blueprint calendars.
The carefully detailed renderings record buildings from farmhouses to industrial plants, from shanties to mansions. Through these pages viewers tour the state both visually and through the artist's own recollections about the remarkable range of places he has recorded with pencil and paper.
A native of Parker Country, DON COLLINS served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, attended classes at several Texas universities, and in 1956 entered an informal partnership with Austin printer Jack Wilson. Operating from a business they called The Art Studio, the two men designed and produced graphic arts materials for customers that ranged from real estate agents to book publishers. All this time Don inclined toward drawing old architectural works. Several large commissions from printers stimulated a long-time interest in rural scenes and architecture. He lives in Austin and Arlington. T. LINDSAY BAKER holds the W.K. Gordon Chair in Texas Industrial History at Tarleton State University. He is the author of more than twenty books on the history of Texas and the American West.
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- ID: 9780875653617
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