Aug 5 2016

The First Great Plein Air Artist…

Howard Picks Reduced.003Can you imagine yourself making a journey lasting from two weeks to two months in an open air vehicle with a rigid suspension system, accompanied by a dozen other people sitting side-by-side on hard bench seats and traveling over dirt roads and rugged terrain?

This is the opening sentence to a delightful story written back in 2014 for the Standard-Times by Howard Taylor, Director of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts. He vividly imagines what it might be like to ride along with Mr. Reaugh on one of his annual summer sketching out West in the early 1900s. The story also recalls Mr. Reaugh’s personal journey, his students, and contributions.

Thank you Howard for sharing your article with our Reaugh fans. To add to Howard’s story, we’ve added some photos and art from our archives, largely from the Jim and Bonnie Pohl and Lucretia D. Coke Collection. 

Click here to read the complete story entitled The First Great Plein Air Artist of Texas Created a Legacy that is Alive in Our Community Today by Howard Taylor.

Apr 27 2016

In Memory of Little Creek

Lucretia Donnell Coke Interview 1A screening doesn’t go by without several people telling me how wonderful Lucretia Donnell Coke (March 28, 1917 – April 27, 2016) is and how she’s definitely the star of the documentary. I knew this would be the case when we first met and sat down back in October 2010 to record her memories of her friend and mentor Frank Reaugh. I didn’t know Lucretia long, but I imagine throughout her entire life, she was stealing the scene. She had this magnetic personality, and once you caught her smile, you wanted to be near her —shoot, you wanted to be her. She led an incredible life. Her children, Carilane Newman Vieregg, Lucretia “Bonnie” Newman Pohl, and Earl Donnell Newman share her story in this full tribute. (Please click this link or the sunset photo to the right for the full story and service information.)

Tea PartyJust recently, (April 3rd) we were blessed to sit down and visit with Lucretia and her daughters at our recent screening at the Hill Country Film Indie Series in Fredericksburg, TX. Shannon and the leading ladies of RS Hanna Gallery threw a wonderful tea party in Lucretia’s honor.

She was glowing as she reminisced about Mr. Reaugh, her art, and family. All day she would thank everyone for all we were doing for her and for sharing Reaugh’s story, but we were the thankful ones. She was more than Mr. Reaugh’s student. She was his protégé, friend, and champion of his legacy.

West Texas Mesa

We will miss you little “Creek,” a nickname as a child from her camp days and sometimes signed on her beautiful artwork. She was also our “Lady Maximus” in Mr. Reaugh’s club for little girls, the Striginians. To us here, she will always be our “Superstar Lucretia,” who we will miss dearly.

Tell Mr. Reaugh, or as you called him dear Lucretia, “Ursa Major” howdy for us!

(To leave or reveal comments, click below on the number of comments link here and scroll to the bottom.)

Apr 14 2016

Our Fredericksburg Weekend Revisited

“When a filmmaker gets a standing ovation for an art documentary, you know you’re connecting with the community in the right way. Frank Reaugh’s story touches not only art lovers, but filmmakers, historians, and everyday movie-goers as well. We sincerely thank Marla Fields for the opportunity to screen Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains in Fredericksburg.”

— Chad Mathews, Executive Director, Hill Country Film Society

Shannon and GarlandIt was an honor to screen our film this weekend, but in all honestly, we think the ovation was in honor of our most special guests – Texas artist and Reaugh student, Lucretia Donnell Coke and her daughters, Carilane Newman Vieregg and Lucretia (Bonnie) Newman Pohl. Plus, there were so many art lovers and friends in the audience thanks to the huge following that Shannon Hanna of RS Hanna Gallery has within the community. Shannon was so instrumental in making the screening a success along with Chad, Amy, and Matt of the Hill Country Film Society. She was kind enough to host a weekend of events at her gallery RS Hanna Gallery's Leading Ladiesin honor of the screening;  first, with a mini-exhibition of Mr. Reaugh’s and the Donnell family art, an art talk with gallery artists Jeri Salter and Garland Weeks (seen above with Shannon), and a special tea party in Lucretia’s honor on Sunday before the screening at Fritztown Cinema.

Again, we can’t thank Shannon and her entire family enough for making the weekend extra special. And thank you to Jeri and Garland and the wonderful community of Fredericksburg and its art lovers for embracing our film.

Hill Country Screening

(Standing L to R Cari, Chad, Bob Reitz, Marla, Bonnie Rea, Below Bonnie, and Lucretia)

Dec 4 2015

Press: Joe Holley’s Native Texan, Houston Chronicle

Read all about it here!

Houston Chronicle 11-18-15


Nov 28 2015

Houston Embraces Reaugh Documentary

THouston Reaugh_Posterhe Center for the Advancement of the Study of Early Texas Art (CASETA) was proud to help sponsor the Houston screening of this important Frank Reaugh documentary. Marla Fields did such a wonderful job of showing the man and his work to great and well-deserved advantage. We appreciate all that she is doing to share Reaugh’s story and all that she is doing for early Texas art. 

—Tam Kiehnhoff, Chair, CASETA Board

Houstonians were not the only Reaugh fans in the audience Thursday, Novemeber 19th. Surprisingly, admirers traveled in from Beaumont, San Antonio, and Austin to see this exclusive screening. With nearly eighty-five invited guests in attendance, the documentary was enlightening to those familiar and unfamiliar in the lore of Frank Reaugh. Guests were genuinely entertained not only by the film but by the active question-and-answer session that followed.

William Reaves Family_resized“When I started this documentary, I thought it was all about Mr. Reaugh’s life story, but now I see how my personal story has changed and is changing with each event and every new friendship made during my film’s journey,” comments Marla Fields. “If not for the documentary, I would have never met Jeff and Barbara Steen and the wonderful family at William Reaves Fine Art. Not to mention, all the friends and supporters of the film throughout the years.”

We greatly appreciate our host CASETA and sponsors John and Bobbie Nau, Jeff and Barbara Steen, and William Reaves Fine Art for their continued support of early Texas art. Their prompt endorsement of our film has helped spurred even more events and sponsored screenings in the near future.

Reaugh Courtesy John Bobbie NauTexas art advocate William Reaves adds,“In this film, Marla Fields has done an incredible job documenting the life and work of one of the most significant Texas artists ever to come our way. We were so proud to have played a small role in presenting this to our Houston friends and patrons. Reaugh is such an important figure in the development of Texas art and Fields is such a talented producer that combined create a compelling art film. We just hope that the state’s larger cinema community will take notice and get behind Marla’s devoted efforts to offer this magnificent story to the larger audiences it deserves.”

The story of Frank Reaugh was begging to be told. Marla Fields poignantly captures the essence of the man and his impact on early Texas art. Reaugh is a Texas treasure that deserves to endure, and this documentary ensures that future generations of Texans will better understand the “cattle painter” and how he shaped the art and artists that followed. A wonderful piece of work.

—Lias J. “Jeff” Steen, Attorney, Texas Art Collector, Film Producer

Oct 22 2015

Reaugh’s Teachings – J.D. McKay

J.D. McKay Seasons TogetherLast year, I had the pleasure of meeting the talented artist J.D. McKay. His kind daughter Kristie had found our website and inquired about the film. She wanted to surprise her parents with a DVD but they got wind of the film before we could produce the final release. A longtime fan of Mr. Reaugh’s work, J.D., his wife Kathie, and his mother Virgina Brown, have kindly donated to the film and have attended several of our events in his honor. When we chatted, he mentioned how Mr. Reaugh had influenced his art, as well as Reaugh protégé and artist Reveau Bassett.

J.D. grew up in Oak Cliff on Glenfield Street—yes, across the street from the Vaughans, but that’s another story. He met Mr. Reaugh at Fair Park in Dallas, in the form of a wax figure. Frank Reaugh had passed away several years before J.D was born but this encounter, along with a visit to the Hall of State to see several of Mr. Reaugh’s pastels, made an early and lasting impression. J.D. adds, “We are all big fans. My mother use to have a frame shop and gallery in downtown Garland that she affectionately named “El Sibil.” Many times in my twenties, I made trips to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, to see the collection of Reaugh paintings. I would camp in Palo Duro Canyon with a little box of pastels and sketch until the museum opened, study Reaugh’s work all day, and then go back to the canyon to sketch until the sun went down.”

J.D. McKay 4For J.D, there’s something captivating about the vistas of the West Texas horizon that creates a longing unlike anything at Yellowstone or the Grande Tetons. And, it was Mr. Reaugh’s subtle and atmospheric style that attracted and inspired J.D. throughout his career. He feels that he is still evolving as an artist, and makes a point to learn from all kinds of art, and not just wildlife art. To see more of J.D’s art, click on this link for Southwest Gallery, and our thanks to the gallery and J.D. for sharing his story with us.

Sep 10 2015

Reaugh at Twenty

Reaugh's Allom PPHM c188037When I was researching and gathering images for the documentary, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum graciously volunteered their entire collection of Reaugh materials for review and consideration in the film. You can’t imagine! We shot and scanned over 200 paintings and sketches, photographs, and writings. While most made the documentary, there’s always those few gems that, as they say in showbiz, landed on the cutting room floor. Such was the case for this early Reaugh beauty.

Back in day, and even today, young artists will learn by copying the masters. This is one of Mr. Reaugh’s earlier works (c. 1880) likely before any formal training in St. Louis and Paris. It is a copy of an engraving by Scottish painter Thomas Allom (1804-1872) called Ben Lomond from Inveruglas (Dunbartonshire).  Michael Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Art and Western Heritage at PPHM, Reaugh scholar and champion, and documentary interviewee adds, “Mr. Reaugh’s first exposure to art came from reproductions of paintings in popular magazines such as Harper’s, Scribner’s, and Century Illustrated. He copied engravings of paintings by Scottish painters such as Thomas Allom and Horatio McCulloch, and British artists J. M. W. Turner.  Mr. Reaugh supplied the color as the engravings were nearly always black and white.”

T Allom 1837The engraving here was published by William Beattie, M.D., Scotland Illustrated in a Series of Views Taken Expressly for this Work by Messrs. T. Allom, W.H. Bartlett, and H. M’Culloch (London: Virtue, London, 1838). Ben Lomond is one of the Scottish lakes (lochs).

Thank you again Michael for sharing this bit of history with us! And, be sure to visit the other Reaugh beauties on permanent display at PPHM. And coming soon, the documentary available on DVD! Stay tuned!


Sep 10 2015

Austin Exhibit Not to Missed

Frank Reaugh HRC“Frank Reaugh: Landscapes of Texas and the American West” on view at the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin through November 29, 2015

Frank Reaugh (1860–1945) is one of the Southwest’s earliest and most distinguished artists. Working in the vein of American Impressionism, Reaugh (pronounced “Ray”) devoted his career to visually documenting the immense unsettled regions of the Southwest before the turn of the twentieth century. A restless and intrepid traveler, Reaugh sketched scenes while riding with cattlemen during the height of Texas’s historic roundups, and he led annual sketch trips to some of Texas’s most spectacular and remote locations. Drawing on more than 100 artworks from the Harry Ransom Center’s collection, as well as public and private collections across the state, the exhibition showcases Reaugh’s approach to landscape painting and his mastery of the pastel medium.

Further reading at —

The Most Important Artist in Dallas History by Pete Simek

Dallas’ First Great Artist Gets His Due in Austin by Rick Brettell

Ransom Center Honors Texas Artist Frank Reaugh With a Major Exhibit by Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Jun 24 2015

Reaugh Reviews Are In

Two words: Impressive Tribute. —John Crain, Texas History Program Director, The Summerlee Foundation

Reaugh Screening5Over a 175 people attended the private screening of the documentary Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains, June 7th, at the Historic Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff. The screening was a small thank you to all of the contributors, both monetary and in-kind, who helped produce this film!

I loved it! Everyone who contributed to the film did such a great job. Thank you for all the work you did to make this a possibility. —Leslie Thompson, Director of Adult Programs, Sid Richardson Museum

If I, Marla Fields (producer/director), had to count the number of contributors, I would say there were at least 100+ more who couldn’t make it this afternoon. Hopefully there will be several more screenings to attend. As one patron added, “It’s the kind of film that will just get better with each viewing.”

Every American Art museum should consider showing this film! It is an extraordinary lesson in art and history and serves as excellent tribute to Frank Reaugh’s many contributions to American Art. —Kevin Vogel, President, Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden

Reaugh Screening6It was a whirlwind for me, and I’m sure I failed to see and thank everyone! I can’t say thank you enough to my editor Chuck Venable and his better half, Kim Venable, for calming my nerves and making me feel like royalty this special day. And of course, the entire crew! What talent – they made me look so good! Don’t I know how to pick ’em! Some of the talented crew in attendance included – Adam Oliver – Music, John Dempsey – Director of Photography, Sher LaDieu – Makeup, and Chuck Venable – Editing.

What an afternoon it was for you and for Mr. Reaugh. Proof that you did good: I teared up. Thank you Marla, for your sensitive attraction to this amazing story and for righting many wrongs in our cultural amnesia.—Max Levy, Architect

Plus, to have so many of our film’s interviewees in attendance such as, Becky Lawton, Bonnie Rea, Michael Grauer, Sam Ratcliffe, Joe Oliver, George Palmer, Peter Mears, and Robert Reitz.

Being a third generation student of Frank Reaugh, the film moved me deeply by embracing the respect and awe collectors, curators, historians and artists have for Mr. Reaugh still today. —Pernie Fallon, Texas Artist & Instructor, Liberty H.S.

Reaugh Screening10Robert Reitz kicked off the event with opening remarks. Robert has been such advocate for this film, and when I say, I couldn’t have made this without him, it is true. He, along with his co-writer and researcher Gardner Smith, provided the foundation for this documentary.

Amazing research evident! Creative presentation! I learned so much and hope our students of history and art will have an opportunity to experience this gem! —Bonnie Rea, President, Frank Reaugh Art Club

To cap the evening, we added elegance with closing remarks from Bonnie Rea, President of the Frank Reaugh Art Club, the film’s largest contributor! She and the club were instrumental in getting Mr. Reaugh’s story to the big screen! And, my it was a big screen! Although he was a visionary, I don’t believe Mr. Reaugh could have ever imagined his work being seen like this. It was such an honor to portray Mr. Reaugh’s story and artwork in such a grand display!

I thought the film was marvelous! I felt like I had had a personal visit with Mr. Reaugh, and taken a tour of his life and his art. —Julie Travis, Librarian

Reaugh Screening14Special thanks goes out to Brad Sharp, filmmaker and photographer of New Heart Digital, for capturing this special event for us! It was fun to see everyone and equally fun to hear feedback on what part of the story seemed to touch which viewers the most.

I was quite impressed by the film’s ability to show Mr. Reaugh’s feelings for Josephine Oliver, both before and after she married Olin Travis. It was a very touching story. —Scott Chase, Oak Cliff Resident & Early Texas Art Collector

What’s next? We need your help with publicity and distribution! Be it with donations for duplication or with networking! Perhaps you may want to sponsor a future screening? Please let us know if you wish to help spread the Reaugh gospel by contacting us here.

Finally, a documentary film on American artist Frank Reaugh. Marla Fields has poured her heart and soul into telling Mr. Reaugh’s story on film. Now it remains for film festivals, public institutions, and public television, to air this exemplary piece on one of America’s truly great unsung artists and historical figures. Perhaps Texas itself might right this wrong by taking the steer by the horns?—Michael Grauer, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Art & Western Heritage, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

May 28 2015

Reaves Gallery Honors Frank Reaugh

Fields IntroductionVery few people know that I grew up in Houston. My early years were spent not too far  from the William Reaves Fine Art Gallery. Familiar roads like Post Oak and Willowick brought back fond memories of my childhood as I drove to the post-CASETA reception that Bill, Sarah, and Mary Margaret graciously hosted in celebration of artist Jeri Salter and her muse Mr. Frank Reaugh. I was honored to introduce the film to the Houston community and for the film to be a recipient of Jeri’s extraordinary talent, and both, her and the gallery’s enormous generosity.

Bill, Jeri and MichaelBill Reaves kindly adds, “What a wonderful crowd, and we’re so grateful to all of our gallery “regulars”, as well as special CASETA guests who took the time to attend. As usual, Michael Grauer regaled the crowd with yet another stirring soliloquy on Mr. Reaugh’s lasting legacy on Texas art, and Marla Fields visually reinforced all the points with a fabulous “guided tour” of her magnificent new film, an “over-the-top” effort destined for big things. Even more incredible, thanks to the enlightened eye and generous support of Texas art patrons around the state, Jeri Salter’s exhibition honoring Mr. Reaugh was a COMPLETE SELL-OUT, buyers enabling donations exceeding $2000 toward Marla’s extraordinary efforts. All-in-all, it was a wonderful effort by everyone to honor the past and present inspiration of Frank Reaugh, the Dean of Texas Painters! How fortunate we are to have had him in our midst.”

All of us here can’t say thank you enough to Bill, Sarah, Mary Margaret, Jeri, and Michael for giving me yet another fond Houston memory. It is one not to be forgotten, and in return, we hope to bring the full-length film to Houston for a screening soon!