John, David, and Charles Swartz, three brothers who moved from Virginia to Fort Worth in the late nineteenth century, captured not only the famous “Wild Bunch” image, but also a visual record of the people, places, and events that chronicles Fort Worth’s fin-de-siécle transformation from a frontier outpost to a bustling metropolis—the ingénue, the dashing young gentleman, the stern husband, the loving wife, the nuclear family, the solid businessman, and so on. Only occasionally does a hint of something different show up: an independent-looking woman, a spoiled child, a roguish male.
In Photographing Texas: The Swartz Brothers, 1880–1918, historian and scholar Richard Selcer gathers a collection of some of the Swartz brothers’ most important images from Fort Worth and elsewhere, few of which have ever been assembled in a single repository. He also offers the fruits of exhaustive research into the photographers’ backgrounds, careers, techniques, and place in Fort Worth society. The result is an illuminating and entertaining perspective on frontier photography, western history, and life in Fort Worth at the turn of the nineteenth-to-twentieth centuries.
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Published by Texas A&M University Press