“Dallas Skyline” by Ed Bearden — 1958

by Paula Bosse

dallas-skyline_ed-bearden“Dallas Skyline” by Ed Bearden (click for much larger image)

by Paula Bosse

Ed Bearden (1919-1980) was a Dallas painter who studied under Jerry Bywaters and Otis Dozier and was loosely affiliated with the Dallas Nine group of artists. He worked with Bywaters at the Dallas Museum of Fine Art as Assistant Director, and he helped found the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts. He also spent several years at SMU — both as a student and as a member of the faculty — until he decided to leave to focus on his own art career. In addition to working as a fine artist, he also owned a commercial art business.

The constantly changing Dallas skyline was a particular favorite subject of his, and he returned to it again and again. The one above is a personal favorite. I’m not sure why I feel so nostalgic when I look at it, except that I swear that I saw this print as a child at my father’s bookstore. It’s a Dallas I’ve never known, but one I wish I had.


Apologies for the wonky image, but I can’t find a better scan of it. I’m assuming this was first a watercolor, then issued as a lithograph, then maybe printed as a broadside or a loose plate in a book? The date in the lower right corner is very difficult to make out — it looks like either 1958 or 1959. I’m going with 1958. ‘Cause I’m like that.

A brief biography of Ed Bearden can be found here.

An unlikely gig came Bearden’s way when director George Stevens asked him to draw the storyboards for the film Giant, hoping that having a Texas artist do them would lend an air of authenticity to the look and feel of the movie (and, in fact, Bearden’s sketches were used as reference by makeup and wardrobe personnel). Read more about this interesting assignment on SMU’s Hamon Arts Library site, and see some of Bearden’s sketches from the set in Marfa, here.


Copyright © 2014 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.