|Film Crew Setting Up|
I had the very interesting and exciting experience being filmed as a "talking head" by noted independent film maker Marla Fields, who is currently making a documentary on the life of famed Texas artist Frank Reaugh. He is best known as the painter to the longhorns. Reaugh was a pioneer artist who lived from 1860 until 1945, spending most of his career in Dallas. His home and studio still stands in Oak Cliff. In the 1880s, he attended art school in St. Louis and eventually studied at the Académie Julian in Paris during the winter of 1888–89. Moving to Dallas in 1890, Reaugh quickly became enthralled with the cattle kingdom and routinely made trips to the western part of the state to paint longhorns. He painted thousands of such images while he became one of the most accomplished art teachers in early twentieth century Texas. Starting in the early years of the twentieth century, Reaugh began leading summer expeditions for his students that ranged over vast parts of West Texas. He and his students painted as they travelled, first by wagon and then by automobile. Back home in Dallas, he established a public art gallery at the library in 1903 and founded the Dallas Art Association. That latter organization was the forerunner of the modern Dallas Museum of Art. Today, the Pan Handle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon has the largest public collection of his work. Marla Fields is currently making a documentary of Reaugh's life that involves the participation of historians, artists, museum curators, and art critics. It was my task to set Reaugh's life into historical context within the larger scope of Texas History.