Street Address
The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library , Southern Methodist University
6100 Hillcrest Avenue
Dallas, TX 75275
Mailing Address
PO Box 750356
Dallas, TX 75275
phone: 214-768-2303
fax: 214-768-1800
Appointments for research are highly recommended. Exhibitions mounted in the Mildred Hawn Exhibition Gallery are open to the public; hours may vary.
Museum Type(s)


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The opening of the Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library in the autumn of 1990 included the establishment of the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections Wing (on the library's second floor), constructed with funds from The Eugene McDermott Foundation of Dallas. The Bywaters Wing serves as a repository for works of art on paper and archival materials illuminating the cultural history of the United States, especially the Southwest; concentration is on the first half of the 20th century, with supporting materials from the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century. The mission of the Bywaters Wing is to preserve, protect, acquire, and disseminate these holdings to the scholarly community and the general public through research, exhibitions, and publications.

Artifacts Collections

The Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest consists of catalogues, clippings, correspondence, photographs, slides, mural studies, and works of art on paper amassed by SMU professor and Dallas Museum of Fine Arts director Jerry Bywaters. He began collecting in the late 1920s and continued to do so during his career as an artist, critic, curator, museum director, and teacher. Professor Bywaters donated this material to SMU at intervals from 1980 until his death in 1989. This collection also includes an ongoing oral history project. In addition to the Bywaters Collection, this area also houses collections of similar materials documenting the careers of other artists in the region, such as Charles Bowling, Otis and Velma Davis Dozier, E. G. Eisenlohr, Mary Doyle, DeForrest Judd, William Lester, Everett Spruce, and Octavio Medellin and Janet Turner.

The Henry Potter Collection consists of several hundred shop sketches, accompanying invoices from Potter Metal Studio in Dallas. Recently reopended by Potter's nephew, this firm fashioned lighting fixtures, furniture and other items, primarily oin iron, for North Texas businesses, institutions, churches, and private residences from the 1930s through the 1960s. These clients included the Dallas Little Theatre, SMU, Highland Park Shopping Village, Highland Park United Methodist Church, and Highland Park Presbyterian Church. Executed on onionskin paper, many of the drawings are in extremely fragile condition and will require extensive conservation.

The Bywaters Wing also houses materials pertaining to music and the performing arts. The Mary McCord/Edyth Renshaw Collection is named for two long-time SMU professors of theater and documents theater, film, and dance. Its holdings emphasize the performing arts in Texas and the Southwest, including papers of the Dallas Little Theatre and SMU's Arden Club. The Greer Garson Collection consists o

Research Collections

All collections include research and archival material.

Educational Programs

Periodic exhibitions of holdings