While serving as curator of Bywaters Special Collections there were many times I would find interesting items housed in the archival files that were of importance to Jerry Bywaters and his colleagues. One such discovery was a folder of drawings made by John ‘Carr’ Pritchett who graduated from SMU in May 1942. Pritchett studied art with Bywaters and assisted him with the Trinity, Texas Post Office mural in 1941. As with many young Americans at this time, Pritchett joined the armed forces in October 1942. While serving, he made sketches of everyday military life, including illustrated letters, that he would send back to Bywaters.
In one letter to Bywaters, Pritchett noted that there were many soldiers from Texas in the military and they would break out with some of the cowboy songs such as “I Wanna Go Back to Texas” and “When It’s Round-up Time in Texas.” Pritchett continued to serve as a Marine in World War II and the Korean Conflict.
After World War II, Pritchett studied Commercial Art at the Pratt Institute in New York but in 1949 left the art world to start his new career as a cattleman. He eventually settled in Mesilla, New Mexico where he died in 2016.
Blog post: Ellen Buie Niewyk, former Curator, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library
Image: Jerry Bywaters, Untitled (Ranch Scene at Night), 4.88 x 4.88 inches; Paper: 11 x 8.5 inches, no date.