Written by Light Townsend Cummins
Read by Jacquie Fuller
Allie Victoria Tennant of Dallas was one of the most accomplished sculptors in Texas during a career that spanned more than five decades. She also worked with great diligence as a civic leader, advancing the status of women, serving for more than thirty years as a Dallas Museum of Fine Arts trustee and teaching at the Dallas Art Institute. Tennant belonged to almost a dozen women’s clubs and art organizations, laboring in each of them to highlight the importance of the visual arts. A long-time supporter of the State Fair of Texas, she helped create the Woman’s Pavilion at Fair Park in Dallas in a successful effort to highlight female contributions to the development of Southwestern culture.
Tennant became a prominent artist in the Regionalist style during the 1930s, joining a circle of artists who chose Texas themes as their subject matter. She developed strong professional friendships with other Regional artists including Thomas Hart Benton, Jerry Bywaters, Alexandre Houge, and Otis Dozier. Her best-known public work, completed for the Texas Centennial in 1936, is the monumental Tejas Warrior, which still stands at the Hall of State at Fair Park. Many of her sculptures are in the Dallas Museum of Art, and her 2015 biography, Allie Victoria Tennant and the Visual Arts in Dallas by Light Townsend Cummins, is the first volume in Texas A&M University Press’s Women in Texas History book series.
Carraro, Francine, Jerry Bywaters: A Life in Art. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994.
Cummins, Light Townsend, Allie Victoria Tennant and the Visual Arts in Dallas. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2015.
Audio Source Information
Our project, "Texas Women's History Moments," received the 2012 National Council on Public History Outstanding Public History Award and the American Association for State and Local History Leadership in History Award. The audio clips were broadcast on KUT radio from 2011-2016 during Women’s History Month.