Dec 22 2014

Celebrating Mr. Reaugh

Please join the Frank Reaugh Art Club this coming Monday, Dec. 29, 2014 at 11:00am to celebrate Mr. Reaugh’s birthday on his birthday.

This annual tradition invites all Frank Reaugh fans and friends to come and share Reaugh memories, hear the latest Reaugh news from the club’s president Bonnie Rea and Reaugh historian Robert Reitz, see some NEW and SPECIAL HIGHLIGHTS from the recently completed Reaugh documentary, and enjoy some light appetizers and birthday cake, of course!

We encourage those with Reaugh pictures or paintings to please bring your treasures for show and tell!

The new year promises to be an extremely exciting year for Mr. Reaugh and the club wishes for you to be a part of it now!

Please call, text or email Bonnie Rea with a number coming. The event is free and bringing friends is highly encouraged! Please do help with a headcount for food and drinks at 214-803-2722 call, text or email

Location  The conference room courtesy of Mark Kever – thanks, Mark!
UBS Financial Services, Inc.
 7250 Dallas Parkway,  12th floor
Plano, TX 75024
*** Parking is in the garage next to the office building which is on the corner of Legacy Dr.
Time — 11:00am – arrival and mingle with a presentation starting at 11:30am.

Want to become a member? Just $10 a year! Please make checks out to Mark Kever, the Frank Reaugh Art Club treasurer and bring it when you come! See you there!


Oct 15 2014

Michael Martin Murphey Sings Frank Reaugh’s Praises

Native Texan Michael Martin Murphey joins the mission and lends his talents to the documentary Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains.

Like Mr. Reaugh, Murphey has left a lasting mark on the American music landscape with songs like “Wildfire,” “Carolina In the Pines” and “Cowboy Logic,” writes producer/director Marla Fields. “Michael is a wonderful storyteller, which makes him the ideal choice for the film’s narration. Plus, he is from Oak Cliff, Mr. Reaugh’s adopted city!”

Murphey, a passionate advocate of the American West, has been a longtime admirer of Mr. Reaugh’s work. He adds, “Mr. Reaugh is a remarkable man. I’ve never heard of anyone so completely dedicated to art. But there’s still something mysterious about him.”

After moving from Illinois in 1876, Frank Reaugh and his family eventually settled in Oak Cliff, TX in 1890. Throughout his career as an artist, teacher, naturalist, and inventor, Mr. Reaugh was highly respected within the community; however, over time his legacy faded. This non-profit documentary hopes to rekindle this mysterious man’s story and remind audiences of Mr. Reaugh’s lengthy contributions to not just art in Texas, but American art.

Fields adds, “Michael is incredibly busy, but he believed in the project so much that he carved out an afternoon for us. His support of the project is an important affirmation to the film’s message and mission.” Murphey adds, “I enjoyed the whole process, and the film is a very worthy project.”

Special thanks to Scott Faris and Amusement Park Recording Studio in Lubbock, TX. Additional thanks to Curtis Peoples for the introduction, Roslyn and Neil Rood for assisting with travel and to all who have contributed to the film’s funds online and with in-kind donations. You are making this movie a reality!

To Donate – Click here.

Jul 28 2014

Reaugh’s Lasting Impressions – The Goerner Girls

Currently, we are dedicating every working hour to editing Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains, so we are most thankful to our Reaugh followers contributing to the website while we work our magic behind the scenes. This posting is in THANKS to Virginia Howard. She writes a magical story that makes you want to step back in time and then plan a trip in the near future! Enjoy!

Virginia writes, “When I was growing up, my mother, Anna Esta Goerner Howard, told me of a rugged cross-country art trip that she and my aunt, Virginia Goerner Schwedler, had taken in 1920, when they were young teenagers.  Armed with sketchbooks and led by their art teacher, Frank Reaugh, they had traveled in an especially outfitted vehicle—my mother described it as “the world’s first station wagon”—from Dallas, throughout West Texas and up through New Mexico and Arizona, all the way to the Grand Canyon, and then back to Dallas.  A trip of nine weeks – 56 days! When I was thirteen, my mother gave me a box of pastels, and showed me her own slender black box of pastels she had taken on the trip when she was thirteen.  I dabbled with my own pastels, but fingered the pastel shards in her wooden box and dreamed of their adventure.

Both my mother and my aunt were members of Mr. Reaugh’s Striginian Club. My Aunt Virginia, who was fourteen, and celebrated her fifteenth birthday “on the trail” during the expedition, held the position in the club as Lady Ossio, the keeper of the records. In that capacity she wrote detailed notes during the trip, and even included anecdotes of camp life and song parodies composed and sung on the road. As a teenager, I had relished reading my mother’s typewritten copy of the original diary, titled “The Tour of the Cicada 1920,” but over the years the enchanting account was eventually relegated to the bottom drawer of the family desk, sunken amidst report cards and old letters and greeting cards and World War II ration books.

In 2001, I rediscovered the manuscript and read the account again with renewed delight. Thanks to a series of magical circumstances, including an Internet search, I managed to contact and share the manuscript with Texas historian Gardner Smith, who printed hand-bound copies of the diary for distribution to libraries and for me to distribute to family members. One of my mother’s cousins acknowledged the gift by writing, “A picture painted by Virginia on that trip hung in my parents’ house ‘forever’ – do you want it?” Did I indeed!? The treasured picture, shown here, now hangs in my den.

In 2003, my brother John and I, with maps and the diary for guidance, drove the same route as the Texas part of the 1920 trip. Some areas had changed, of course, but many untamed places remained much as they must have appeared more than eighty years earlier – the Wichita Brakes, for example, and Salt Fork of the Brazos. One of our goals on the 2003 trip was to find the mesa-topped mountain that my aunt had painted in 1920. We found several mesas, one after another across the horizon, but none matched the image in the painting. As the mountains thinned out, we consoled ourselves that at least we had tried, and we accepted the idea that Aunt Virginia’s mountain would remain elusive. Then it happened. My brother, who was driving, glanced in the rear-view mirror and said, “Look behind you.”

I turned, and there it was! It was exactly as my aunt had depicted it, except that the road was now paved rather than dirt. We were there, and so was she. And so were the other participants in the Tour of the Cicada, 1920. All of us. Mr. Reaugh had taught his students well.

Footnote: In 1930, ten years after the Cicada adventure, my mother and my aunt, along with my father’s sister, my Aunt Irene, went to Europe for three months.  On that trip, the collection of highly detailed letters sent home to my grandfather served as my Aunt Virginia’s means for keeping a diary.  My mother had told me that whenever there was even a moment of inactivity on the European trip, my aunt would get busy writing. The same must surely have been true of the Cicada trip in 1920.”