West Texas Town, Adrian


Jerry Bywaters ( American, 1906 - 1989 )

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General Description

This painting exemplifies Jerry Bywaters’ mastery of regionalist landscape painting using his observations of expansive West Texas. As early as 1934 he traveled to the area and other parts of the Southwest in search of artistic inspiration. He completed a Works Progress Administration mural in 1938 in Quanah, Texas—the same year this painting was completed. The painting depicts a rest stop in Adrian, Texas, a town near Amarillo, in the Panhandle west of Dallas. Adrian is the precise mid-point between Chicago and Los Angeles on highway Route 66 and was a shipping point for area wheat growers. The Santa Fe Railway logo on the freight train alongside the grain elevator and cattle loading pen is a reminder of the changes endured by the agricultural industry in far-flung towns around the state. As with much of the region, drought and dust storms took their toll on the town in the first half of the 20th century. The flat landscape is dotted with telephone poles leading the eye towards the endless horizon in this dusty West Texas scene.

Adapted from

Rae Pleasant, DMA Unpublished Material, 2015.

Fun Facts

  • Adrian's first grain silo was built in 1928.

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