In Fort Worth Then, rare works of art by Samuel P. Ziegler capture the metamorphosis that the city of Fort Worth, Texas, experienced in the early twentieth century. Ziegler (1881–1967) was a Texas Christian University art professor who never had to look far to find inspiration, producing images of Fort Worth in the 1920s and 1930s that provide a unique glimpse into the city a hundred years ago. Unlike his local contemporaries, Samuel P. Ziegler regarded Fort Worth’s rapid urban development as an indispensable source of ideas. He expressed these ideas in paintings, drawings, etchings, and lithographs of significant buildings, street scenes, demolition and construction sites, and scenes along the Trinity River. Many of Ziegler’s works from this period are presented here for the first time. Of special note are his depictions of the TCU campus, which grew along with the city. A professional musician as well as an artist, Ziegler taught music at TCU before eventually becoming head of the visual arts department. In addition to creating images of the city, in the late 1920s he began to depict the oil boom erupting in counties just west of Fort Worth. Ziegler absorbed all these sights and turned them into art, embodying the mindset of Texas artists living in the Depression era who believed in and pursued the regionalist ideal.
Scott Grant Barker is a collector of early Fort Worth art and student of Fort Worth’s rich art history. With the help of two friends, he self-published a booklet on the prints and drawings of Samuel P. Ziegler in 2004.
Gregory Dow is a professional art dealer, master framer, and collector of early Texas and Fort Worth art. His family business Dow Art Galleries LLC, has operated in Fort Worth since 1935. He has collected and studied the paintings, prints and drawings of Samuel P. Ziegler for more than forty years.