by Paula Bosse
An evening in downtown Dallas at Christmastime — alive with traffic and lights and energy — by Dallas artist Bud Biggs.
The painting appeared on the cover of the Christmas, 1959 issue of The Shamrock, a magazine published by the Shamrock Oil and Gas Corporation. The magazine’s description:
On the sidewalks, shoppers dart to and fro. On the street, autos dash by, leaving streaks of light in their haste. Gay lights and laughing Santas swing gayly overhead, festooning the area in a holiday glow. Above all this man-made madness, stars twinkle in contrast, reflecting a serenity reminiscent of a night nineteen hundred years ago. This is what The Shamrock staff sees in this vivid water color of Downtown Dallas at Christmastime by Artist Bud Biggs.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
Sources & Notes
This work by artist Bud Biggs appeared on the cover of the Christmas, 1959 edition of The Shamrock; this magazine is part of the Southwest Collection, Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University — the entire issue has been scanned and may be viewed as a PDF here.
My guess is that the title of the original painting is “Main Street, Christmas Night” and that it was one of the 12 paintings produced by Biggs in the mid 1950s as cover art for Dallas Magazine, a Dallas Chamber of Commerce publication. These paintings of Dallas scenes appeared as cover art for the monthly issues of 1956, in honor of the city’s centennial. The series won the “Best Covers of 1956” award from the American Association of Commerce Publications, and in 1958 all 12 of the original watercolors were purchased by Southwest Airmotive Company to be displayed in their new Love Field terminal. The 12 covers featured Biggs’ depictions of the following Dallas scenes and landmarks:
- “Aerial View of Downtown Dallas”
- “Ervay Street”
- “Ground-breaking, Dallas University”
- “Midway, State Fair of Texas”
- “Trinity Industrial District”
- “Central Expressway”
- “Commerce Street”
- “City Auditorium”
- “Looking Up Pacific”
- “Main Street, Christmas Night”
- “SMU Legal Center”
- “The Katy Round House”
UPDATE: I’ve found the other 11 paintings. See them in the Flashback Dallas post “Bud Biggs: 12 Watercolors of Dallas — ca. 1955.”
More on this series of paintings can be found in the Dallas Morning News article “Art & Artists: Biggs Series Bought by Firm” by Rual Askew, Feb. 20, 1958.
Dallas native Bancroft Putnam “Bud” Biggs (1906-1985) attended Forest Ave. High School, SMU, and the St. Louis School of Fine Arts. He was primarily a commercial artist, working first for Dallas artist Guy Cahoon before opening his own advertising studio. He produced fine art as well, specializing in watercolors, and was a respected art instructor.
Copyright © 2018 Paula Bosse. All Rights Reserved.