University of Texas Press
After S. M. U. Press, the next significant university press to appear was the University of Texas Press in 1950. It was organized under the direction of Frank Wardlaw, who would also be credited with founding the Texas A & M University Press in 1974.
The University of Texas Press’s first book, The Florida of the Incas, appeared in 1951. By the end of the 1950s, the Press would have two books named in the Fifty Books of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts: Texas Range Grasses (1952) designed by Van C. Walton and The Sleeping Gypsy, and Other Poems (1958) designed by Jo Alys Downs.
Beginning in the production department in 1957, Downs had a hand in a number of award-winning items from the University of Texas Press. In 1962, Downs received nine awards – four each from the Southern Books Competition and the Chicago Book Clinic, and one from the Texas Institute of Letters. One book she designed, Ananse: the Web of Life in Africa by John T. Biggers, won in all three contests.
With these fine volumes in its portfolio, the University of Texas Press hit an impressive stride which would only continue with many more fine works: Royal Commentaries of the Incas (1966), Mexican Indian Costumes (1968), The Lithographs of Thomas Hart Benton (1969), A Thomason Sketchbook (1969), Seashells of the Texas Coast (1971), and Paul Kane’s Frontier (1971).
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