Forrest Kirkland sketching
at Rocky Dell in the Texas Panhandle.
Southwest Indian Petroglyphs
copied by Forrest Kirkland
Courtesy of the Texas Memorial Museum, accession 2261
Although he started regularly going on painting outings during his first marriage with his family, he continued to develop his interests after the eventual breakup of his first marriage. With his second wife, Lula Mardis, his previous assistant, he continued to collect more information with even more scientific techniques from remote areas of the southwest. He eventually becomes more recognized for his archeology and anthropology than for his commercial art. After his death, Lula was able to get these works shown in the Dallas Art Museum. They have since been shown at several location across the nation.
The bulk of the material was willed to the Texas Memorial Museum at the University of Texas at Austin where it resides presently. All works presented here are provided through the courtesy of the museum and should not be reproduced without their permission.
|Panther Cave, Seminole Canyon on the lower Pecos River, Val Verde Co.,Texas. Copied July 10, 1937. Original drawn to scale 1/4" to 1'; Courtesy of the Texas Memorial Museum, accession 2261 Bigger version|
The rock art paintings depicted here are only a few of probably more than 160 paintings that Forrest did in his career. His interest was to preserve the native American paintings that were disappearing to weather, time, relic hunters, and graffiti of visitors to the regions. In Val Verde County, in the Big Bend region of Texas near the Pecos River, he copied paintings at forty-three sites. Some of these sites may be dated from the Archaic Period of 6000 bce to 600 ce. Most are probably from 600 to 1000 ce.
|Paintings of Rattlesnake Canyon, Val Verde Co.,Texas. Copied July 13, 1936. original scaled drawn 9/32" to 1', Courtesy of the Texas Memorial Museum, accession 2261 Bigger version|
Forrest observed in his field notes "The pictures in almost every cave in Val Verde County, extend far above the reach of a man standing on the floor of the cave, so a ladder of some kind must have been required for their painting. In a few cases they were painted flat on the ceiling more than ten feet above the floor. The work would certainly have required some type of scaffolding . Grinding, mixing, and applying the paint on certain of the figures in these caves, must have required considereable labor, as they stand more than nine feet tall, are painted solid on rough surfaces, and are finished in three shades of color."(1938)
|Paintings of Meyers Springs, northwest of Dryden, Terrell Co.,Texas. Copied July 24, 1935. original scaled drawn 1/32" to 1', Courtesy of the Texas Memorial Museum, accession 2261|
|Paintings of Panther Cave, Rattlesnake Canyon,
Copied July 13, 1936.
original scaled drawn 9/32" to 1', Courtesy of the Texas Memorial Museum, accession 2261Bigger version
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