Untitled painting of longhorns

Rare oil on canvas by artist Frank Reaugh

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by Kathryn Siefker, Associate Curator of Exhibition Content

Charles Franklin Reaugh (1860–1945) was an American Impressionist artist working in Texas at the turn of the 20th century. This untitled scene of three longhorns resting at a water oasis is one of Reaugh’s rare oil paintings. The pastel colors of the sparse landscape capture the unspoiled, open ranges of Texas that are a hallmark of Reaugh’s work.

The painting is in the collection of J. P. Bryan, a Houston businessman who has a significant collection of Frank Reaugh artworks and ephemera. Reaugh (pronounced Ray) is best known for his artistic depictions of longhorns and the vast southwestern landscape, visually documenting Texas as he experienced it. He was an avid traveler, traversing the state in an effort to capture scenes that were true to life. Reaugh often sketched scenes while riding with cattlemen on roundups, and he led annual sketching trips to scenic and remote Texas locations. He created hundreds of pastels and paintings during his 50 year career as an artist and teacher.

"It is my hope that my pictures portraying those times … will tell their story, and will be preserved because of historical value; for the steer and the cowboy have gone, the range has been fenced and plowed, and the beauty of the early days is but a memory."

Frank Reaugh, 1936

J. P. Bryan shares a similar passion for preserving Texas history. The founder and chairman of Torch Energy Advisors, Mr. Bryan has devoted his personal time, energy, and fortune to historic preservation. His collection is one of the world’s largest assemblages of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to Texas and the American West. It spans more than 12,000 years, from ancient Native American cultural artifacts to pieces from the 21st century. In October 2013, Mr. Bryan purchased the old Galveston Orphans Home in Galveston and restored it to house the Bryan Museum, where much of Mr. Bryan’s collection can be enjoyed by the public.

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Untitled painting of longhorns Artifact from Galveston
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