The Annual Move

Oil on masonite by Otis Dozier

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The Annual Move shows a family, displaced by the Dust Bowl, packing up their meager belongings. Painted by Otis Dozier, a Texas Regionalist artist, the touching scene shows the reality of rural life in Texas during the 1930s.

In the forefront of an otherwise desolate landscape, a small family is gathered in front of an empty house, their few possessions on the ground before them. While the scene is initially sad, it is also filled with hope (the newborn baby in its mother’s arms) and tradition (the portrait of a family matriarch packed for the move). The scene resonated with Dozier who spent his early life on a cotton farm in North Texas.

Otis Dozier (1904–1987) studied and practiced art in Dallas, where he was associated with the Dallas Nine, a group of regionalist painters who focused on the land and people of the Southwest. An up-and-coming artist in 1936, Dozier’s The Annual Move was part of a grand art exhibition curated for the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition World’s Fair. The exhibition brought together over 600 works of art to give Texans a complete survey of the history of European and American art. To give Texas artists maximum exposure to the world, several galleries were devoted to Texas art, with 113 Texas paintings, watercolors, prints, and drawings on display for the world to see.

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The Annual Move Artifact from Dallas
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