Texas wildflower competitive exhibitions

DEFINITION

Held in San Antonio, Texas in the years 1927, 1928, and 1929, the exhibitions were organized by Edgar B. Davis of Luling, Texas. He was a "legendary oil wildcatter", who was one of the wealthiest men in Texas in the roaring 20's. He had a special affection for Texas wildflowers and successfully envisioned a national art competition that would bring leading American painters of the day to Texas to paint his designated subject. One-hundred thirty five painters participated, likely encouraged by the fact that the prizes were the most lucrative to date offered in the world of American Art exhibitions. Over 80,000 viewers attended during the three years, and Davis and the San Antonio Art League purchased the winning paintings. The event raised awareness of art among Texans and made other Americans aware of art activity and potential subject matter for painting in Texas. An unintended result of the competitions was the opening of discussion about avant-garde art, which was introduced by some of the competition entrants, especially the younger ones such as Jerry Bywaters and Alexandre Hogue who objected to some of the decisions of conservative judges. Source:William E Reaves, Jr., "Texas Art and a Wildcatter's Dream"

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