Friday, May 4, 2012

Talk on Allie V. Tennant at CASETA

Kurt Howell, Allie Tennant's Cat Sculpture,
and Light Cummins at CASETA
CASETA, the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, held its annual meeting in Fort Worth April 27 to 29. It had a full programs of talks and exhibits, including a show and sale from most of the major dealers of early Texas art at the annual Art Fair. The Amon Carter Museum and the Sid Richardson Foudation sponored and supported the meeting, with the membership having receptions at both venues in addition to the Texas Wesleyan School of Law. Speakers included Andrew Walker, Director of the Amon Carter Museum: Jack Davis, Dean Emeritus of the UNT College of Visual Arts:  J. P. Bryan, Art Collector; Mary Bones, Curator of the Museum of the Big Bend; and Deborah Fullerton, Curator of the Art Museum of South Texas. I was also one of the speakers.

I spoke on the life and career of sculptor Allie V. Tennant, about whom I have recently completed a manuscript biography. A highlight of my talk was the exhibiting of a rare Allie Tennant sculpture of a black cat brought to the meeting by its owner, Kurt Noel. Allie Victoria Tennant is best known as the sculptor who produced the iconic "Tejas Warrior" statue that graces the main entrance to the Hall of State at Fair Park in Dallas. She became an advocate in the 1920s of the regionalist movement that was then sweeping the nation's intellectual community. She associated herself with other Texas artists who also embraced regionalism as their credo, including Jerry Bywaters, Otis Dozier, Alexandre Hogue, and others including Dorothy Austin, Mike Owen, and Evaline Sellors.