BN.com Gift Guide

Chronicles of the Big Bend: A Photographic Memoir of Life on the Border

Overview


As a young teamster on a pack-mule train, Wilfred Dudley Smithers saw the Rio Grande's Big Bend for the first time in 1916, and it captured his imagination forever. For decades thereafter he returned to Texas' last great frontier—the great bend of the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border—chronicling the region and its people in words and photographs.

After half a century of photography, Smithers' superlative collection of nine thousand images ended up at the University of ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (8) from $24.77   
  • New (6) from $24.77   
  • Used (2) from $24.95   
Sending request ...

Overview


As a young teamster on a pack-mule train, Wilfred Dudley Smithers saw the Rio Grande's Big Bend for the first time in 1916, and it captured his imagination forever. For decades thereafter he returned to Texas' last great frontier—the great bend of the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexico border—chronicling the region and its people in words and photographs.

After half a century of photography, Smithers' superlative collection of nine thousand images ended up at the University of Texas at Austin, and in 1976 more than one hundred of these were reproduced in Chronicles of the Big Bend, a critically acclaimed work that until now has long been out of print.

The years that Smithers chronicled in the Big Bend were sometimes violent ones. Pancho Villa and Chico Cano were among the many "bandits" playing hide-and-seek with the U.S. Cavalry—events Smithers recorded. He was also an eyewitness to liquor-running and smuggling during Prohibition. His principal subjects, however, were the people of the Big Bend: local ranchers, Mexican American and American families, miners, Texas Rangers, and others living simple lives in this harsh and beautiful land.

With words and camera Smithers wanted to capture "vanishing lifestyles, primitive cultures, old faces, and odd, unconventional professions. Before my camera I wanted huts, vendors, natural majesties, clothing, tools, children, old people, the ways of the border." He also told his own life story along with that of the Big Bend.

There are illustrated chapters on the military, law enforcement, curanderos (healers), liquor smugglers, avisadores (secret-message senders), and the national park. Smithers' word sketches and black-and- white photographs capture the harsh reality and stark beauty, the dust and the mystery of the frontier era of the Big Bend that ended in 1944 when it became a national park. Chronicles of the Big Bend is a rare documentary look at a frontier region as it was known by only a few and as it will never be seen again. It is a deeply personal human portrait of the majestic Big Bend.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876112618
  • Publisher: Texas State Historical Association
  • Publication date: 3/15/2013
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 571,742
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.34 (d)

Meet the Author


WILFRED DUDLEY SMITHERS (1895–1981) was born in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, in 1895. He began taking photographs at age fifteen while living in San Antonio, and later worked as a teamster, joined the U.S. Army, operated a photo studio, served as a news correspondent, and helped pioneer aerial photography.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2000

    Chronicles of the Big Bend: A Photographic Memoir of Life on the Border

    'For those of us who live in and around the Big Bend area of West Texas, this is an excellent historical documentation. It covered virtually every area of life in a corner less traveled. This is a book I will add to my library with great pleasure'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)