TSB author Dorie McCullough Lawson and her delightful children’s book TEX were featured at Bradford Brinton’s 132nd Birthday Celebration at the Bradford Brinton Memorial & Museum in Big Horn, Wyoming, on June 26, 2012. Dorie’s son Luke, the inspiration behind the TEX character, took part in the festivities.
“It was wonderful to visit with Dorie and Tim [Dorie’s husband T Allen Lawson, the renowned landscape painter], and see how much Luke ‘Tex’ had grown!” said Barbara Schuster, Associate Curator of the museum.
The Bradford Brinton Memorial & Museum allows you to experience the lifestyle of a 1920s and 30s gentleman’s working ranch. Guided tours of the Main Ranch House are available, and the property features regular art exhibitions and an exclusive Native American Collection.
The Ranch House on the Quarter Circle A Ranch, on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1892 by William Moncreiffe, renovated and enlarged by Bradford Brinton in 1927-28, and opened to the public as a memorial to Western art and history through Helen Brinton’s will in 1961. The Brintons’ collection, on display in its original setting, includes splendid artwork by Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington, Edward Borein, Frank Tenney Johnson, Hans Kleiber & Bill Gollings and many others.
Here’s what Publisher’s Weekly said about TEX:
Certain childhood dreams are elemental—growing up to be a firefighter, a ballerina, or a cowboy—and adult author Lawson, in her first children’s book, taps into that third option with a photographic ode to a boy’s imagined life on the ranch. Lawson begins by introducing readers to Luke (her son), who first appears in grayscale photos. “He lives in a house near the ocean…. But Luke imagines he is… Tex.” Color photographs, on the right side of each spread, portray Tex as one serious cowpoke, wearing a jean shirt, boots, and a black brimmed hat against an expansive landscape of mountains and “wide open spaces.” Spare prose plays into the taciturn image of a cowboy on the job (“All day long Tex works hard. He rides. He irrigates. He checks fence”), and even with her son in the starring role, Lawson avoids both cutesiness and the feel of a vanity project, focusing on the simple pleasures of hard work and a job well done. The seriousness with which the book takes Tex’s role on the ranch validates children’s dreams and ambitions. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)