Blog of the Hamon Arts Library



In memory of our colleague, Dillon Wackerman

The staff of Central University Libraries are deeply saddened to share the news about the death of our wonderful and brilliant colleague, Dillon Wackerman. After a nationwide search, Dillon joined SMU’s Central University Libraries on August 1, 2016, as the Digital Repository Librarian. He quickly rebranded SMU’s digital repository as SMU Scholar and transformed it into a vibrant showcase of the University’s scholarly research.

It is hard to capture in words Dillon’s relentless drive to expand support for scholarly communication at SMU. He was a proactive advocate for Open Access and an emerging leader on our campus in developing strategies for strengthening relationships between the libraries and the campus community. He enabled faculty and students to exercise their publishing options in SMU Scholar and worked tirelessly with all contributors – faculty, students, and staff at every level. He continuously served as a dedicated advocate of Open Access, author’s rights, and the preservation of SMU’s academic output, and scheduled many meetings and training sessions in his professional endeavor.

His creativity in and exuberance for Scholarly Communications stood above the crowd. He developed and hosted conferences that captured the latest trends and thinking in this field. Librarians and faculty from around the region attended these effervescent events, which led to lively, professional debates and critical discussions on the future of library publishing and the free flow of scholarly information.

Dillon was a true professional with the highest standards of excellence. In a short amount of time, he rebuilt SMU’s digital repository at a breathtaking speed. Dillon was also a beautiful and caring person whom we will never forget. Central University Libraries is fortunate for having  known and worked with such a professional and kind colleague. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family in Texas and California.

For those of you who wish to donate funds for Dillon’s family to support them in the following months ahead, please go to:

Texas Women Artists: Selections from Bywaters Special Collections on view

The metalwork, photographs, prints, and sculpture selected for the new exhibition, Texas Women Artists: Selections from Bywaters Special Collections, are from the holdings of Bywaters Special Collections, located in the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library.  Each artist represented in the exhibition had early art training, most of it professional, yet career paths diverged as they became curators, educators, gallery directors, metalsmiths, printmakers, and sculptors.  The first artist represented is Louise Heuser Wueste (Wüste), a “pioneer” since she is the first known professionally-trained woman artist to arrive in Texas in the mid-nineteenth century.  Many other women artists followed in her footsteps, and their legacy is still felt today in works of art they created and organizations they established.

In view of the fragile nature of the works of art shown in this exhibition, reproductions of the originals are exhibited. Texas Women Artists: Selections from Bywaters Special Collections is on view August 21, 2017 – August 5, 2018.

Image: Courtesy of Mary Nye Collection, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Two Texans at the MoMA: Medellin and Spruce

As part of the graduation requirements to earn my Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Southern Methodist University, I completed a capstone project titled Two Texans at the MoMA: Medellin and Spruce. The purpose of my project was to collaborate with the Bywaters Special Collections staff to complete a research paper using the many primary sources available in the collection. The paper examined the historical significance of the exhibit catalog of the “Americans 1942: 18 Artists from 9 States” and the Texas regional artists represented in the exhibition.

Two Texas regional painters, Octavio Medellin (1907-1999) and Everett Spruce (1907-2002) were the only two Texas artists included in the exhibition “Americans 1942: 18 Artists from 9 States” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, January 21-March 8, 1942. The Bywaters Special Collections in the Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University, named for Jerry Bywaters who was a leader in the Texas regional art movement, holds a personalized copy of the catalog from that exhibition. Through studying the MoMA catalog and using the primary sources in the Bywaters’ archive at SMU, I was able to determine why the MoMA chose to hold this exhibition, what the iconographic and stylistic themes of the exhibition were, and the criteria for selection of the 18 artists. The archive also provided me with valuable information regarding the careers and contributions of the artists. Working with the knowledgeable and helpful staff in the archive made the journey into the world of primary sources an enlightening and pleasurable experience.

For information about Octavio Medellin and Everett Spruce and to access the primary source in Bywaters SpecialCollections, please visit:

Blog post: Courtesy of LaGail Davis, General Operations Manager, Hamon Arts Library, CUL, SMU.

Image: Cover of the cited exhibition catalogue: Dorothy Canning Miller, ed., Americans, 1942: 18 artists from 9 states (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1942).

Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Printmaker now in SMU Scholar

Published initially by Southern Methodist University Press in 2007, Central University Libraries is proud to announce Ellen Buie Niewyk’s Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Printmaker is now available as open access and free of charge in SMU Scholar. In her book, Niewyk, Curator of the Bywaters Special Collections, CUL, highlights the seminal achievements of Jerry Bywaters’ career as a prolific printmaker, artist, and teacher at Southern Methodist University and in the Dallas area. The incorporation of Jerry Bywaters: Lone Star Printmaker in SMU Scholar, the University’s institutional repository, marks the beginning of a focused effort to make public and more accessible the rich and academically significant publications of SMU Press to scholars and other readers with an interest in Texas regional art. 

To access this title and other academic works, please visit: and

Blog post: Courtesy of Dillon Wackerman, Digital Repository Librarian, Central University Libraries, SMU.

Interview with Marisa Infante, 2017 recipient of Larrie and Bobbi Weil Undergraduate Research Award

Congratulations go to Meadows art history student, Marisa Infante, who is the 2017 recipient of the Larrie and Bobbi Weil Undergraduate Research Award for her paper, The Amazons of Exekias and Eupolis: Demystifying Changes in Gender Roles. The Weil Award is given annually for excellence in undergraduate research, and the recipient is an SMU student nominated by their faculty for outstanding research and writing of a term paper.

Marisa agreed to a few questions about her research for this paper.

  1. Marisa, could you please briefly tell blog readers about the topic of your paper?

My paper focuses on two Greek vases, one from the Archaic period and the other from the Classical period. Combining these vases with feminist and gender theory, I explore the differences in depictions of Amazon figures and how their iconography relates to the changing gender roles of women.

  1. What did you find most surprising or intriguing in your research?

I found it surprising that the iconography changed as drastically as it did. The iconography of the amazons widely changed from one time period to the next with little crossover. I think that this is so interesting because it reflects how quickly the mindset of the people changed as well.

  1. Was there or were there key resource(s) that helped you in your research?

There were a few key resources that helped me in my research. One of the main sources that I used was the Lexicon iconographic mythologiae classicae (LIMC)! I used it to survey the overall change in Amazon iconography and without it my paper would not have been as strong.

  1. If you had more than one semester to research this topic, is there something else you would have also discussed in your paper?

I would have included more vases in order to really show the difference in the Amazon iconography and to trace how drastically different the iconography is between the Archaic period and the Classical period.

Image: Marisa Infante, with donors, Larrie and Bobbi Weil, and Elizabeth Killingsworth, Director of Fondren Library and Head of Research Services, and Dean and Director ad interim (effective July 1st), Central University Libraries, SMU.

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Greer Garson’s Mrs. Miniver

Mrs. Miniver was released on June 4, 1942 and went on to win six Academy Awards, including “Best Picture,” Best Director” and “Best Actress” with Greer Garson’s stellar performance.  It was the second of what would be seven nominations for “Best Actress” during Garson’s career.  This depiction of English civilians’ determined resistance during the Battle of Britain struck a resonant chord with American audiences, prompting Winston Churchill to proclaim that the film was as important to the Allied war effort as “a whole fleet of battleships.”  Rarely seen on the big screen since its initial release, Southern Methodist University (whose Hamon Arts Library houses Greer Garson’s papers) is bringing this one-time screening to the Texas Theatre. Celebrate Greer at the Texas Theatre in Oak Cliff on Sunday, June 4th at 4pm, with FREE ADMISSION.

Thank you to Dr. Sam Ratcliffe, Head, Bywaters Special Collections for this post.
Image: Courtesy of the Division of Film and Media Arts, Meadows School of the Arts, SMU.

Hawn Gallery’s Piecing It Together and Eva Hesse

On April 26th, the Hamon Arts Library presented a screening of the 2015 documentary, Eva Hesse (Zeitgeist Films, dir. Marcie Begleiter) in conjunction with the Hawn Gallery’s current exhibition, Piecing It Together. This incredible film about the life and work of pioneering post-minimalist and conceptual artist Eva Hesse seemed a logical and evocative accompaniment to the exhibition, and is now available for circulation in Hamon’s AV collection. Piecing It Together, which features work by abstract painters, Danielle Kimzey, Mary Laube, and Christopher Reno addresses many of the postmodernist themes and feminist ideologies in both the film and Hesse’s own work.

Continue reading “Hawn Gallery’s Piecing It Together and Eva Hesse”

Collection Spotlight: Southern Methodist University Arden Club collection

The Southern Methodist University Arden Club was the student dramatic group on campus from 1916 to 1969. The collection documents the activities of the club from its first production in 1916 and throughout its fifty-three year history. It includes artwork, clippings, correspondence, documents, ephemera, manuscripts, posters, programs, props, publicity, published works, scripts, scrapbooks, photographs and club pins.

Please take a look at the detailed finding aid available through Texas Archival Resources Online here:

Image: Courtesy of Southern Methodist University Arden Club collection, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Collection Spotlight: DeForrest Judd Art Work and Papers

DeForrest H. Judd, a native of Hartsgrove, Ohio, lived most of his life in Dallas working as an artist and teaching at Southern Methodist University. Judd’s keen observation of everyday life and nature influenced him to paint, draw, and print his interpretations onto canvas, paper, and copper enamels. As a professional artist and teacher, Judd taught numerous students at SMU and at summer workshops in Arkansas, New Mexico, and Texas. The collection includes artwork, clippings, correspondence, documents, photographs, published works, and publicity relating to his art and teaching career. The sketchbooks concentrate on Judd’s trips to Colorado, the Gulf Coast, Caddo Lake, New Mexico, the Big Bend, and the Hill Country in Texas.

The Judd collection consists of four scrapbooks documenting his career from 1936 – 1990, one painting record notebook, nine sketchbooks, seven copper enameled pieces, three rocks from the artist’s studio in Dallas, one small wood sculpture by the artist, ten works of art on paper; and a small amount of archival material including clippings, correspondence, documents, photographs, publicity, and exhibition catalogs. The works of art on paper are representative of his career and consist of one pencil drawing, five watercolors, one blue ink sketch, and three lithographs.

Please take a look at the detailed finding aid available through Texas Archival Resources Online here:

Image: Courtesy of DeForrest Judd Art Work and Papers, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

Blog at

Up ↑