Jerry Bywaters made major art and journalistic contributions to the Dallas and Southwest art scene beginning in the 1920s. He was considered an unofficial art critic for SMU’s literary journal, the Southwest Review, by reporting on artists and art events. In August 1932, he began publishing and editing a new magazine entitled South•Western Arts. The magazine promoted Southwest artists and published articles on their work and art events in the area. Its first issue included this statement of purpose:
In these few pages are gathered some facts and opinions on the arts – all too localized and incomplete. But there is a hint of what is to follow. The next number of South•Western Arts will appear in October…will have twenty-eight pages…departments on many of the arts and related crafts…critical articles by contributors of the South and Southwest…reproductions of creative works…and appear every other month during the active art season. It will be the only magazine offering a journalistic medium of expression for the arts in this region – the answer to a (there is no other word) crying need.
After one issue, the name of the new magazine was changed to Contemporary Arts of the South and Southwest, as described in the November – December, 1932 issue, in order “…to serve both the South and Southwest.” Unfortunately, the magazine was discontinued after four issues. During its brief life, the magazine offered a unique glimpse into the art world of Dallas and the Southwest, which was active and vital in spite of the depression of the 1930s.
Copies of these publications now available online!
Image: South•Western Arts, August, 1932 (Volume One, Number One). Courtesy of Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University.