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Painting a more complete picture of a legendary Texas artist

Cowboy Head linocut by Jerry Bywaters
Cowboy Head, a linocut by Jerry Bywaters, c. 1940, from the Bywaters Special Collections in Hamon Arts Library.

Jerry Bywaters Cochran, daughter of renowned Texas artist Jerry Bywaters '27, has donated 65 works of art to SMU, including 45 by her famous father. The gift to the Meadows Museum in December includes paintings, pastels, prints and watercolors.

That gift, in combination with the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest, housed in the Hamon Arts Library, makes SMU the major repository of research materials and artwork by the celebrated artist.

Cochran also donated the Jerry Bywaters Cochran family papers to SMU, which will become part of the existing Bywaters Special Collections in Hamon.

The materials are invaluable resources for researchers and scholars studying the art of the region, says Sam Ratcliffe '74, head of the Bywaters Special Collections.

"Jerry Bywaters played an indispensable role in demonstrating how American artists could utilize regional subject matter to illustrate universal themes and ideas," Ratcliffe says. "The artwork and papers donated by him, and now by his daughter, provide the background for understanding the formative influences on his depictions of the land and people of the Southwest."