Texas artists' participation in as well as divergence from mainstream American art intensified by the 1930s and 40s. Between the first and second world wars, popular American taste, influential art critics and writers, and a prevailing mood of political isolationism promoted art that dealt with the so-called "American scene." Texas artists almost uniformly chose the world around them as their subject matter, dealing with the state's agriculture, villages, cities, and ranches amid the realities of the Dust Bowl in the Southwest. their work, however, reveals diverse and sophisticated influences ranging from German expressivism to Mexican social protest, muralism to European surrealism. While strong and distinctive art scenes existed in Houston and Fort Worth, and the legacy of landscape continued in San Antonio, Dallas gained national attention for the group of artists who became known loosely as the Dallas Nine or Lone Star Regionalists. They were particularly singled out for national attention at the Centennial Exposition, which, conveniently, was held in Dallas at the brand-new Fair Park. The Barrett Collection is rich in works by the Lone Star Regionalists, both on canvas and paper, including strong examples of several of their members' later work after World War II.
William Keyse Rudolph, DMA exhibition label copy, 2007.