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Listen: Frank Reaugh’s favorite monochrome pastel painting

By Isabel Dunn

One of the most popular visitor features of our current exhibition Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West is the “guide by cell” audio tour for visitors. This audio tour lets visitors call in and hear informational snippets about the paintings on display. Ransom Center Curator of Art Peter Mears discusses highlights from the exhibition, and Project Specialist Greg Curtis speaks as the voice of Frank Reaugh to narrate the artist’s own comments.

This week we highlight Brushy Bottom, one of Reaugh’s monochrome pastel paintings. This haunting landscape in gray tones with tall trees features four cattle in the high grasses and a lit sky with a crescent moon in the upper left of the image.


Frank Reaugh, 1860–1945, <em>Brushy Bottom</em>. Undated. Pastel; 44 x 56 x 3 cm.
Frank Reaugh, 1860–1945, Brushy Bottom. Undated. Pastel; 44 x 56 x 3 cm.


Reaugh considered Brushy Bottom to be one of his best monochromes. His nuanced use of grays captures the mystery of Brushy Bottom, a place untouched by human influence. According to Reaugh, Brushy Bottom was a “wild and lonely place in the early 1880s.” Furtive animals are hidden in the monochrome landscape. Deer, panthers, wolves, and wildcats lived among the groves of moss-shrouded Wahoo elms. Shallow pools surrounded by sedges and tall grasses were the “biding place for snakes.” To learn more, listen to the audio file below.



The Ransom Center offers free docent-led exhibition tours daily at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m.


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